Social Media has brought a voice to anyone who is willing to use it. Voices can be for any number of reasons and used in so many ways. So why the double edge sword with activism on social media?
Activism has been around and methods have been used in past campaigns are still easy and effective means. What social media brings to the table is a more global awareness of issues. Organizing events are made easier as communication is streamlined online. Communities form to help spread the word.
Social Media’s Infiltration
The kicker to social media’s infiltration within the activism space happens in lack of follow through on issues. Our attention for causes and issues shrinks after the hype has past online. As well, a new cause comes along on social media and while trending, it’s all anyone talks about. Our attention span to follow through with an issue has dwindled.
Social Media Speed and Response
Social Media’s language lends itself to instant gratification and responses. This isn’t effective in the case of activism. We have come to expect instant responses and outlets become reactionary instead of thinking critically and in a timely manner. Our constant online and connected communications don’t lend themselves to thoughtful responses. We react in the moment only to change course.
While I value what social media has to offer, we have to remember not everything needs to have instant reactions or responses. It’s still important to have a thought out answer as opposed to multiple stumbles that don’t make sense.