ACTIVISM IN THE DIGITAL AGE
Social Activism refers to ‘a broad range of activities which are beneficial to society or particular interest groups.’Social Activist operate in groups to voice, educate and agitate for change, targeting global crisis. These days the voices of dissent have increasingly been carried via evolving mediums of the Internet.
For more than ten years, social movement groups have been using the Internet to accomplish organizational goals. It has been argued that the Internet helps to increase the speed, reach and effectiveness of social movement-related communication as well as mobilization efforts and as a result it has been suggested that the Internet has had a positive impact on the social movements in general.
The primary benefit to using social media in activism campaigns is social media’s ability to spread information faster then before. Online activism allows activist to organize events with high levels of engagement, focus and network strength.
One of the greatest things about social media is the platform it can give to otherwise isolated and marginalized people. Entire communities have developed and grown together over social media and this has exponentially strengthened many activism campaigns. Social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter allow people to organize events and communicate on a medium that is accessible to anybody who has an email address, Internet and connectable device.
Slacktivism is ‘the practice of supporting a political or social cause by means such as social media or online petitions, characterized as involving very little effort or commitment.’
Social media and activism are sometimes referred to as slacktivism because it does the bare minimum of spreading the message and sparking conversation. Often the opposing side blames social media for not initiating enough offline demonstrations.
Conversations can be enough to cause change.
If there’s any argument about the effectiveness of social media for activism. It should be about consistency. Consistent action draws the line between slacktivism and activism. Clear and constant communication is vital for activism.
Social media allows everyone to communicate but those voices must be followed with action for social media’s role to continue to be impactful.
- Helps mold public opinion
- Helps form a plan of action
- Allows the ability to digitally measure impact
- Helps the spreading of awareness about a cause or event
- Helps with networking
- Allows online crowdfunding
- Lack of privacy
- Unreliable information is often shared
- Misinterpretation of key issues
- Unwanted arguments
- Lack of anonymity
- Political hindrances