Social Media’s Contribution to Social Activism

imageBy Josh Wilbanks

 

The shift in power in the Oval Office has led an overwhelmingly amount of citizens worldwide to preach about their opinions both negative and positive. Every time we log into some platform of social media you can always expect a political-related post without having to scroll down the page very far. Expanding views online have increased interest in the day-to-day actions of our governmental representatives, paved the way for planned protests, and have allowed personal opinions to generate power for public opinion.

As so many protests are popping up around the country it is hard not to pick a side with each one and having affirmations for topics such as immigration laws and social rights. Through the use of social media it is so much easier to post something on Facebook and “spontaneously mobilize…without any central authority dictating strategy.” (Jaywork) However, just as Seattle experienced in the protest of the new immigration laws enacted by President Trump detaining immigrants, “the protestors were more concerned with freeing the detainees than conveniencing airplane riders.” (Jaywork) Our way of life and an entire corporation can be disrupted with a few posts calling for organization of a belief. At some point a person has to wonder if this is truly getting us anywhere or if these large masses of people are stopping production more than they are leading to change.
Unfortunately it contributes to the latter due to the fact that “Mr.Trump feeds off media attention. Throughout the campaign, the bigger the spectacle he created, the larger he loomed in the public consciousness.” (Manjoo) I only hope that the movements that are being created are calling for attention to real issues and aren’t being considered impromptu nuisances. The last thing that we need as a country is to promote the person causing such disturbance within both our homes and our nation as a whole.
Citations
Manjoo, Farhad. “The Alt-Majority: How Social Networks Empower Mass Protests Against Trump.” New York Times. N.p., 30 Jan. 2017. Wed. 4 Feb. 2017.

Makarechi, Kia. “Spontaneous Airport Protets Show the Anti-Trump Movement Isn’t Going Anywhere.” The Hive. Vanity Fair, 31 Jan. 2017. Wed. 04 Feb. 2017
http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/01/airport-protests-anti-trump-movement

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Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism