Why Social Media Activism Is Not A Cop-Out

Why Social Media Activism Is Not A Cop-Out

Social Media Activism, or Hashtagactivism, is getting things done everywhere.
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Hashtagactivism. Also called social media activism, or internet activism. Most people have participated in it even if they haven't. If you ever talked about #Kony2012, liked a post about Michelle Obama's #BringBackOurGirls, or tweeted about #BlackLivesMatter, you have participated in internet activism.

So you may be wondering, what exactly is Hashtagactivism. According to author of @ is for Activism: Dissent, Resistance and Rebellion in a Digital Culture, Joss Hands, Hashtagactivism “supporting and creating awareness on social issues via social media sites and networks.” To be a social activist is easy. The majority of it is retweeting something with a hashtag that your followers will see or responding to an article about a certain issue. The point is to share these issues with your social media friends and followers in hopes that they spread it to their friends and followers. This sharing of ideas helps issues get around and inspire people to think about their opinions on them.

Social media activism is effective because it allows people to voice their opinions and get educated in a plethora of social issues. How does it do that you ask? Because most social media sites are fairly easy to use. For Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, you post, add a couple of hashtags and/or filters and you are good to go. Hashtag activism is also effective because it arguably gives the most underrepresented voice, millennials, a chance to voice their opinions, get heard, and be at the forefront of great change. And lastly, it is effective because social media activism is able to reach so many people very quickly. I personally keep track of a lot of things via social media because it is constantly being updated in real time by real people and not potentially biased media outlets (looking at you, Fox News).

In recent history, social media activism has gotten a lot done. For example #IStandWithPP. #IStandWithPP was created by and in support with the millions of American women who go to Planned Parenthood for a multitude of reproductive health service. Services that also include abortion. In what the Washington Post says was a highly political move, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, known for their extensive research on breast cancer, decided to cut nearly 700,000 dollars in funding from Planned Parenthood. Social media users took to their platforms and stood up for the women that would be affected by this cut as well as the huge step back in women’s rights. This hashtag described how people felt about the decision to revoke this funding. In response, the Komen Foundation restored the funding and issued an apology.

Another example would be #Ferguson. #Ferguson was created after the murder of Michael Brown by Ferguson officer, Darren Wilson, and the unrest that ensued after he was not indicted. In the story of Twitter activist, Deray Mckesson @deray on Twitter, he left his home in Minnesota to be a part of the protests that we going on in Ferguson. By tweeting and finding other users who were using #Ferguson, we were able to find housing and plan protests as well as give first-hand accounts of what was happening in Ferguson for people who were not there, such as myself.

As any true hashtag activist knows, there are two sides to every argument, this one included. There are some that think social media activism is for people who are too lazy to "actually do something about it". Many people, including the binge-tastic director Shonda Rhimes, have said such things. In Rhimes’ commencement speech at her alma mater, Dartmouth College, she said “A hashtag does not change anything.” and created a hashtag of her own “#StopPretendingHashtagsAreTheSameAsDoingSomething. (I thought this was funny because she uses hashtags to spread awareness about her shows.) What she, and many others, fail to understand, social activism IS doing something. It is raising awareness that leads to action and things being changed on national and international scales.

Social media activism isn't a cop-out for activism as we used to know it. Not everyone can take a day off and strike or occupy a building. Social media makes activism accessible to everyone, especially millennials.

Cover Image Credit: skilledup.com

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To Donald Trump: Thank U, Next

Look what you taught us.

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What Donald Trump taught me is that it is not essential for the president to care about his country. Con-artistry goes a long way when communicating with people who are tired of the same political jargon.

His simple-minded but outlandish promises convinced people significant change was coming. Donald Trump taught me that never again do I want a president to be thought of as "one of us."

Instead, I want someone smart, ethical and who has taken a basic civics course — someone who will take care of minorities and make those in dire situations a priority instead of stock market prices.

I want a president that doesn't brag about sexually assaulting women. I want a president that doesn't go on social media and blame homicide victims for not being armed. I want a president that doesn't complain about money when people are dying and losing their homes in a massive fire.

However, with that being said, I also want to give thanks to Trump. Because of him, the next generation sees how crucial it is to get out and vote. Most of your elders probably never spoke to an LGBTQ person, but you and your siblings grew up with LGBTQ friends, and you would never want them to be treated any lesser than you. You grew up with women dominating television. You grew up under the leadership of an African American president. You grew up in a world that was changing.

Some people don't like change, but you are the future, and it is your decision what you want that future to be. So thank you Donald Trump, for being the last big push Americans needed to completely change a world that was once dominated by violence and hate crimes. However, I think most of us can agree we are ready for what's coming next.

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