In Malcolm Gladwell’s NY Post article, Gladwell compares the difference between activist movements from the 1960s to today. He discusses that the thing that seperates the civil rights movements of before and now is that social media activism “doesn’t involve financial or personal risk.” For instance, people fighting for a cause on Facebook doesn’t have to spend “a summer being chased by armed men in pickup trucks.” Instead, it gives us a sense of “social acknowledgment and praise.”
Gladwell makes some great points. We fight for things behind the screen of a computer. For instance, let me bring up some old memories. Kony 2012. How many people watched and shared that 30-minute video truly believing that we were going to change the world? We watched. We tweeted. We chatted with our friends. But did we actually do anything? A handful of us donated money for the cause. A small few posted posters around town. But did we do something? Did we go out and fight for these children?
My point exactly.
Social media activism takes us out of the heat but still makes it look like we support some sort of cause. Yes, I changed my profile picture to a red equal sign; however, I would have gone out to an equality parade to fight for my friends. No, I would have never gone to Africa to hunt down Kony. But social media allows us to fight this battle without risking the chances of getting a battle scar but gives us the chance to be admired by our “followers.”
However, I’m not saying that social media is useless in fighting for a cause. Social media gives us the opportunity to spread the word. Let’s bring it home.
Social media proves itself to be a powerful tool. It allows us to voice our opinions and share information to those who normally would not hear our message. However, to change the world, you need to do more than share a video or change your profile picture.
Don’t just like the cause, fight for it.