Role of Social Media on Activism and Revolution

Janessa Suarez Prof. Mooney ENC 1102 1 February 2013 Role of Social Media in Activism and Revolution According to Jeffrey Strain, “Can a click make a difference in the world? By itself, probably not, but when combined with tens and even hundreds of thousands of other clicks, it may just have an impact”. Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have changed the way people interact all across the globe. We depend on these social networks to seek information and communicate with one another.
With these social networks, people from all across the world are able to find out about any ongoing events or incidents by just a click of a button. Individuals can use these social networks to increase awareness of events and get their information across to friends, family and even strangers. Even though people believe we depend too much on the Internet, social media should be used because it benefits us and those around us. For starters, social media, such as YouTube, changes public awareness. It gives people a chance to view tragedies and help make a difference to those who have been affected by them.
For example, there is a video called “Bully”, which is a documentary about kids all over the world who are bullied today. It’s a form of activism because through this video, which can be found on YouTube, people from all over the world can become aware of this problem and help change their and others’ behavior. As Monika Hathaway says, “The fundamental problem and benefit is that the Internet gives everyone a voice, regardless of whether or not we think it should be heard”. Watching videos can be more effective than words because as humans we grasp visual imagery better than we do words.

For an audience, it’s more powerful and influential to view a shameful situation, such as bullying, rather than just hearing or reading about it. Another way social media has played an immense role in activism today is by expanding word of mouth communication. Ben Rattray, the founder of Change. org said, “If the Internet didn’t exist, Barack Obama would not be president of the United States”. Why does he say this? Because without the Internet, Obama would not have been able to gather thousands of people to work together for change.
Through Twitter and Facebook Obama was able to expose his campaign to millions of people and attract a greater number of voters. Using social media, news reporters, writers, and even your family and friends are able to write their opinions or fill you in on what may you have missed or didn’t notice about events such as the presidential debates. Social media also increases word of mouth communication because it gives others who may not know about a business or even a restaurant a chance to review information and feedback. For example, Facebook is key in communicating with clients.
It gives them the opportunity to “Like” a page, “Share” a page, or even recommend a page to other people. Twitter can be used to sponsor deals and events and give advice to other business owners or people who share common interest. It brings great minds together and gives daily opportunities to learn from someone else’s perspective. (English, How Do You Increase Word of Mouth) Lastly, as mentioned in Rutledge’s, Four Ways Social Media is Redefining Activism, social media networks cross technologies (which means with the help of other types of technology people can exchange information) and have immediate impact that gives information urgency.
Because of this, social media benefits different organizations such as Breast Cancer Awareness, Hand in Hand for Haiti, and Support our Troops. With the crossing of technologies it encourages people to take immediate action for things like fundraising, helping groups raise donations. Utilizing social media can spread the word and drive people to help. Overall, not only can individuals with the same interest and passion share and connect, but they can also partake in causes that can support and help one another.
We are closely brought together through this electric technology, encountering people who we’d never really thought about having any interaction with. As Allison Fine, the co-author of The Networked Nonprofit says, “In every effective social change effort that you want to look at there is an inner-core of tightly bound people”. Social media not only gives us a voice but it gives us the opportunity to show others what we are capable of accomplishing and what we can do to make a difference in the world. Works Cited Hathaway, Monika. “The Role of Social Media in Activism. ” Sterling Communications.
Sterlingpr. com, 25 Oct. 2011. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. “How Do You Increase Word of Mouth? ” 5 Star Radio Group Clarksville TN Marketing and Advertising RSS. N. p. , n. d. Web. 01 Feb. 2013. Kessler, Sarah. “Mashable. ” Mashable. Mashable, 9 Oct. 2010. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. “Mashable. ” Mashable. N. p. , n. d. Web. 01 Feb. 2013. Rutledge, Pamela B. “Four Ways Social Media Is Redefining Activism. ” Psychology Today. Positively Media, 6 Oct. 2010. Web. 1 Feb. 2013. Strain, Jeffrey. “A Different Type of Activism. ” Technorati Social Media. Technorati. com, 2 May 2012. Web. 17 Feb. 2013.

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