The Power of Social Media
Getting involved in something bigger than yourself may shape the direction of your local, national, or international community. It can all simply start with the use of social media. Building a following of individuals interested in causes you wish to pursue has become easier. Through social media you are able to build a virtual community of like-minded individuals that can later develop beyond the realms of social media and into tangible social action and involvement.
We are living in an era where social media ‘likes’ and comments can dictate a person’s actions and interests. In recent years, many people have become what some refer to as “social media activist” or “hashtag activist”. People often become aware of or involved with different causes through the use of social media, and many groups find success in bringing awareness to different national and international issues that arise through social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
In the past few years we have seen the power of social media activism through movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, which stands against violence and social injustices towards Black people. Although this movement started off simply as a hashtag on social media, it has led to multiple protests, political involvement, and media attention outside of social media. The #BlackLivesMatter movement is a perfect example of how social media can shape an entire group of people’s ability to initiate conversation on social and political views. Through the use of hashtags, entire communities of compatible individuals were able to organize and create a movement unlike anything we have seen in recent years.
Social media has created a platform for millennials to express and address social issues and discuss political concerns. It is one of many ways to become change agents in your communities, through platforms built specifically for building connections with other people. Social media can be used as tool of change for those who want to become involved in a cause but do not know how to start or where to start. The catalyst for community or political involvement no longer has to look like it did twenty years ago. Starting a movement in your community for the better can grow quickly through the proper use of social media, and the building connections with those who are willing to put in the real work for a cause.