Social media has had the ability to advance the world. In short amount of time, we have revolutionized so much such as receiving the news and communication. Due to social media, the way that we learn about and respond to anything affecting our world has changed. We have the ability to do so much like learn about new diseases in a few clicks. Social media is not just a place to observer a friend’s profile and see what they are up to. It is also a large source where people can come together.
Huffington Post mentions that, “Interestingly, social media as a medium for connecting, organizing and communicating is powering and spreading democracy far better than billions of dollars of aid or war in corners of world very resistant to such change.” Social media creates a large platform where a community can quickly, make an impact on the world and for a cause.
Technology is constantly advancing every day. In this time of social media, we have both social media activism (or digital activism) and hashtag activism. It is much easier today than it was to before to spread awareness on an important social issue. Using both hashtags and social media helps to easily spread and raise awareness. Another post from Huffington Post states that, “Hashtags have the power to bring attention to and mobilize a large population.
Petitions, protests, letters to politicians and those in power are disseminated through social media.” InMyArea has mentioned a few of the many hashtags that have brought awareness over the course of a few years. “Social media’s role in activism can be credited to areas like these Abilene-Sweetwater, TX – #OccupyWallStreet Los Angeles, CA – #OscarsSoWhite Boston, MA – #ALSIceBucketChallenge Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN – #BlackLivesMatter #Charlottesville, VA”
Social media activism includes raising awareness by using a variety of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. By doing this, the world gets the opportunity to learn more about causes and movement as well as their needs. Most social media platforms have certain algorithms that will promote the most popular hashtags, doing this helps to bring critical social matters to the spotlight. Phycology Today mentions that there are, “four important ways that social media is redefining activism and advocacy.”
First is that social media can change public awareness. Second, is that “social media distribution means we are getting information from someone in our network.” Third being that social media networks cross different platforms and creates a quick impact that gives it urgency. Lastly, social media development has changed the impression of communicating by modifying our expectations about participation.
Social media has the amazing ability to provide the platform to anyone with access to the digital world and gives them the opportunity to call for change. The platforms that social media provide give people and communities the opportunity to create events to anybody almost anyone. The internet has always been a platform that has given anyone to form new communities and share resources. There are an increased number of groups who are now turning to practical tools, which allow them to create unified platforms to increase social change. There are several different tools used by online activists being online petitions, social networks, blogs, micro-blogging, cell phones and proxy servers. One of the other major characteristics of social activism is that it is almost always a non-violent form of protest.
American Press Institute showed that 69% of millennials get their daily news while 85% say that “keeping up with the news is at least somewhat important to them.” It is true that this generation access their news differently, they do access their news regularly to keep up with any new information and things that are changing around them. Referring back to the study, a large portion of millennials did post recently about a topic they cared about on social media.
Although it can be hard to keep up with at times, it is crucial to be aware of everything that is going on in the world. With social media frequently being updated every second of every day, people are easily able to obtain constant knowledge. Social media platforms have become more than just a way to share how you are feeling. Due to social media, people are no longer limited to just receiving their important news from one only one source. Social media has been able to advance the spread of awareness as well as the pace at which we can help as a community. Social media is a powerful enough tool for raising awareness. It gives everyone voice while it can also connect us all to a large variety of backgrounds, and cultures.