There are people all around the world initiating and making change in their communities and across nations through the help of social media. This is known as digital activism and is the use of electronic communication such as social media to bring about political or social change. This can be through technologies such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, E-mail, Google+, and many others. Now more than every, social media sites are being used as a platform for diving into the world of activism and making change. An article that I found useful on this topic was The New Face of Teen Activism.

In the article, The 6 Activist Functions of Digital Tech, I learned that there are six functions of social media for digital activist. These are to shape public opinion, make a plan to action, protect activist through ambiguity, share a call to action, take action digitally, and the sharing of resources. This article states that these are the finite functions that technology does for activists.

Young adults or teenagers are using this type of activism. Through social media, teens can get their ideas out there for people to see and this also spreads their ideas far and wide. Through social media, their campaigns do not just stay in their individual areas or communities but travel to different states and even different countries across the globe. Teens are using digital activism by tweeting, blogging, making video blogs and several other methods to get their campaigns out there for the world to see. I believe that this type of activism is effective in part. When it comes to national or even state or region concerns and campaigns, I feel like social media is a great way to get information out to a broad range of people in a big area. However, when it comes to small, community social or political change, I think that it really impacts people to have physical representation and real life interactions.

In all honesty, I do not think that I have participated in digital activism as much as I should. I like and share some social change campaigns on social media like Facebook and Twitter, but beyond that, not much. I am not a big fan of “stirring the pot” when it comes to politics. I have my own opinion and others have their own. I may have face- to- face discussions with people if I am passionate about a controversial political topic, but I tend to stay away from social media debates.

There are several key issues that are spurring digital activists into motion. Some of these are rape culture, bullying and cyber- bullying, mental health and self-harm, and political change. These are very important issues that our country, as well as many others struggle with constantly. Some questions that I have is how can digital activism help in small communities? How can one go about becoming a digital activist?

Photo CC-By Brian McDonald

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