How Millennials Use Social Media To Make Social Change

How Millennials Use Social Media To Make Social Change

Millennials are continuously unleashing goodness into the world, one post at a time.

Effecting social change is more than a nice idea to millennials, and this generation is demanding to be taken seriously.

Millennials are the largest population group in the U.S., with 86 million people. According to a study conducted in 2011 by TBWA/Worldwide and TakePart, seven in 10 adults ranging from 18-29 years old consider themselves activists. A majority of millennials view activism as a part of their overall identity, as well as a way to socialize with and relate to others.

Nowadays, people from every age group use some form of social media, from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and so on, but social media activism is very popular amongst young adults.

This generation of millennials is known for how connected they are through social media and technology. It is important to note that their use of these mediums has gone from posting selfies, and taking pictures of their food, to using their profiles to advocate for social issues.

From the ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) ice bucket challenge, which generated over 100 million dollars for neurodegenerative diagnosis research, to the Black Lives Matter movement, which was started on Facebook by three black community organizers in response to the death of unarmed 17-year-old African-American Trayvon Martin.

To millennials, social media is their main platform for bringing awareness to a cause they care for. They have advocated for child labor laws, voting rights, civil rights, school desegregation, immigration reform and LGBT rights. The world is beginning to experience real change through their actions.

We hear a lot about how millennials use social media in foolish ways, but not enough light is shed on how they successfully use these various platforms to express a genuine passion for making the world a better place.

It doesn't stop with the U.S. Millennials. Other countries are also actively changing the world. In China, young adults are leading online political discussions and also donating to charities. In the Arab Spring, Millennials actively protested with the goal of removing the dictators in charge of their countries.

According to research conducted by The Millennial Impact Project, millennials engage in causes that help people, not businesses. However, one in three millennials boycott or support businesses based on the causes they care about.

They are placing more pressure on companies to become socially responsible, and will reward them for their involvement and impact in social causes. Millennials don't just share content for the sake of sharing, but in hopes of raising awareness and spreading a message.

To them, this is just as important as donating and volunteering.

It is evident that this generation of young adults is showing the rest of the world how to effectively make a difference. This generation is learning to be more open to sharing views similar and different to theirs. In doing so, they are presenting real opportunities for dialogue while presenting real solutions to problems that affect people all over the world.

Millennials are continuously unleashing goodness into the world, one post at a time.

Cover Image Credit: Ed Gregory

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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