I am writing a paper for college and one of the questions is this:

Social media as a networked economy lends to social activism and online communities. Assess this assertion critically with a case study.

I tried searching on the internet as to what 'lends to' means and it says I give something to someone or something. But how does this definition make sense in the question above? Can someone explain to me what 'lends to' means in the sentence above?

  • It seems like an ill-chosen word to me. The entire sentence doesn't make much sense. Are they saying that social media is/are a networked economy? "Lends to?" "Tends to?" Jul 28, 2021 at 13:36
  • idioms.thefreedictionary.com/lend+to
    – user139882
    Jul 28, 2021 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


The correct idiom is lends itself to something.

It is similar to facilitates or makes possible or helps create. So a rough paraphrase of your sentence is this:

Social media as a networked economy helps social activism and online communities to exist.

Without itself, the idiom is broken. I'm sure the author knew what they meant, but they simply wrote a poor sentence.

I have been a university-level instructor since 1986. Do not assume that your instructors are excellent writers. I revise my colleagues' work all the time.

EDIT: I don't mean they all write poorly. I learned a lot about writing from a geology professor. I just mean that a graduate degree does not guarantee writing expertise.

  • Thanks. That makes much more sense. I definitely agree the instructor has written this sentence poorly. Through my experience, I have come across many instructors who write questions in a way that can cause massive confusion. I appreciate your input. Good day!
    – AshMovess
    Jul 28, 2021 at 15:12

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