Instead of condemning the use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and, Instagram, critics are now praising users of social media for promoting social justice causes writes Pascale Healy.
Social media was first established as a way to connect with people far and wide, now it has grown into something much more. A way for society to help one another and better the world. Now some people use it as a platform for promoting social justice, this has been proven to be very effective for many people around the world.
Social media usually doesn’t receive the positive label of ‘social media, social justice’, but it really does deserve to have this type of label instead of a ‘bullying zone’, ‘a place for self-absorbed people’ or a ‘place that creates antisocial behaviour’. Social media is becoming the new way that the world can take important issues and do something about them. It can educate the world on particular issues because of the awareness and exposure of issues like health, overall wellbeing, gender equality, sexual violence and civil rights, and social media is easy to use and access especially because it doesn’t cost anything.
The hashtag phenomenon has been a huge help in raising awareness of important issues like police brutality (#Ferguson), keeping the Internet free and open (#NetNeutrality), funds for ALSA (#IceBucketChallenge), and many more. This ‘hashtag unity’ is a powerful way to unite people from all over the world to educate, provoke and support change. Communities are created because of social media and they can be and are used to find justice. Social media has helped in some natural disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti, non-profits used social media to support the community and mobilise rescue efforts. For the tsunami in Japan, people used social media to get updates on the situation as well as search for family and friends. Many people have already started to use social media for social justice, so you can do the same.
Social media creates a circle of awareness; the people who see the issues through social media’s exposure act upon it then share their experience on social media, therefore inspiring others to do the same. So jump on social media and help to solve issues and support others around the world on our journey to a successful society.