Social Media- tool for change?
Alexis Hogan investigates how social media is being used to change the world, and how it is slowly becoming the way we connect about world issues.
One of the 21st centuries so far most prominent differences from the years before has been the introduction of social media. This tool has quickly made its way through most of the world, and has been used to share and receive information as easily as the click of a button or a swipe of the finger. The use of social media, particularly the hashtag (or #), has been able to rally millions of people together to support an important social justice issue simply by posting a photo. Issues such as racism, sexism, abuse of children and other controversial issues would not have received nearly as much attention without social media coverage Social media is able to be used as an effective tool to encourage social change in a positive way, and is a way for people to connect about global issues.
One of the most popular hashtags of the past 2 years has been the world famed #BringBackOurGirls, which is still being used today. This hashtag originated after the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping, where 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria by an Islamic extremist and terrorist organization based in north-eastern Nigeria. The hashtag was used by Michelle Obama and many other politically influential figures used this hashtag to promote awareness, and the campaign has since seen massive worldwide support and funds. Another controversial hashtag is the #BeenRapedNeverReported, which raised awareness about the amount of sexually assaulted women and how many of the brutal attacks go unreported. Millions of women around the world joined together through sites such as Instagram and anonymously posted their experiences of rape and other sexual abuse. These two hashtags have been able to promote social justice and people around the world have joined together to try to promote change these issues.
Social media has also been used to be able to inform people about the current issues of our society. The Paris terrorist’s attacks of 2015 were give lots of awareness as the attacks progressed through images such as people screaming and running from buildings and videos of the victims and the dead around them. These attacks sparked a social media rage, putting the #PeaceforParis into common use. These pictures, many shared through Facebook alerted many of the authorities and police forces around the world to the event happening in France, and they have since identified some of the perpetrators of the murders of 130 people. The ISIL terrorists claimed responsibility for the attacks, and released a video on Facebook about how they plan to launch more. Social media can be used as a sometimes vital tool, and can be used to encourage social change in a positive way.
From this evidence, it can be concluded that social media can be used as a valuable tool to promote social change. It can be used to spread the word about current events and social issues, and can be used to help combat and promote awareness of severe cases of social injustices.