This week I want to discuss activism on social media. We talked about data this week and when I was sifting through the material provided, I found a very interesting statistic. On Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends, it is stated that “social media is important for 67% of creating sustained movements for social change”. I found this an extremely interesting statistic because I still see the world in an old fashioned way, of reading the newspaper and watching the news. It still shocks me that social change can occur on your phone.
I wanted to dig a little deeper into this because I was curious what kinds of social change this statistic was talking about. The first person who came to mind was Greta Thunberg, an absolute icon who is protesting about climate change and making a huge difference in the world. She is only 17 years old and has already created an entire social movement just by not attending school on Fridays and protesting instead. It gained her a huge following and created an entire empire of social change.
Greta’s climate strike movement did later, obviously, spread onto the news and other media outlets but the fact that it was so widespread before that just goes to show how important social media now is. If you have a big following and something important to say, say it! If you don’t support Trump and you want someone else to win the election, share that! Social media has a larger influence than I think the bulk of us realize, and it’s really important to adapt with it.
The online sphere is ever growing, and during this pandemic, I think it’s important and intriguing to look and see what is happening on social media. I looked up “coronavirus social media” and the second thing to pop up was How Social Media is Making the Spread of Coronavirus Worse. This does not shock me in any way, because while social media is great in theory, it is also something that is increasing the fear and exaggerating the pandemic we are in. It is also spreading misinformation about the virus, and due to that, I believe we will be stuck in quarantine for much longer than if social media was not spreading misinformation.
It is such a scary time and social media can be a reprieve but don’t share anything unless you know it’s true. You can start an activist movement but make sure that information is accurate and something you believe in. We are all in this together so make sure to spread love and not hate!