Why Social Media Isn't Social Activism
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Politics and Activism

Why Social Media Isn't Social Activism

Believe it or not, there is a difference.

Why Social Media Isn't Social Activism
Kreative Eye Design

Just a quick disclaimer before I start: this does not apply to everyone. There are clearly people who are able to sway public opinion and truly make a difference through social media.

Your tweet where you shut down a twitter bigot got hundreds of retweets and likes. You have phrases like "#blacklivesmatter" and "woke" in your bio. You frequently find yourself commenting on any social issue that happens to be trending. If any of these statements apply to you, this article is for you as well. Now, this is not an attack on you as a person. I share many of these beliefs with you as well, and I applaud you for standing up for what you believe in. The problem is, you aren't really making any difference at all through social media. Social media, while a great place to gather and voice ideas, doesn't really count as activism. With social media, people turn their phones off and believe that they have made a difference in the world, meaning that less of an effort is being made in the real world.

It's easy to fall into a false sense of security after using social media to promote your beliefs, but one must consider the impact of a tweet or a post. How many people are actually seeing what you put on social media? Moreover, how many people are actually being affected by seeing what you put on social media? The answer, sadly, is close to none. People usually just scroll past what you have to say, regardless of whether they agree or not. So many people voice their opinions on social media that at this point, most have become numb to seeing these posts. Now, I'm not suggesting that you stop posting or tweeting your opinions; they are (mostly) valuable things for people to see. The issue is, if you stop there, then you have made little to no impact on the society in which we exist, which can certainly be an alarming truth.

There are many ways that a person can be an activist past the usage of social media. At Friendship Public Charter Schools, where I interned this summer, some of my fellow interns organized a "My Life Matters" march where they organized the kids from the school district to march through DC. The march was actually covered in a video by The Chronicle of Higher Education, showing that actually getting out and standing up for one's beliefs makes more of a difference than social media ever could. One could also use their money to promote their moral values. This could range from contributing to political campaigns to in the case of working with the Black Lives Matter movement, support black owned businesses. There are many ways to support and stand up for one's beliefs, and if people put the same effort into actual activism that they do on social media, a lot more might actually get done.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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