Digital Activism: A concept that is so widely used in today’s society, yet one of which I am just starting to learn more about it. According to Mary Joyce, the founder and executive director of the Meta-Activism Project, digital activism is the practice of using digital technology for political and social change. This was the most clear and simple definition that I found, which made most sense to me. In this century, technology has blown up to be one of the main focuses in so many lives around the world, thus including social media. According to EMarketer, nearly one-third of the world will use social networks regularly this year. What?! That is CRAZY!! This is why digital activism is such a hot topic right now.
Many people are using the internet and social media as tools to organize, create, signal boost, and spread awareness about a multitude of causes. Many of these people, surprisingly, are teens! Teens all around the world are having such a big impact on social activism, because not many of them are going to sit and watch the news, but a huge population of them will be on social media. This creates a giant audience of people to join along with someone who wants to raise awareness for an important situation or cause that they are passionate about. Teens and young adults are changing the world by simple coming together and spreading awareness online! It is so cool how so many people can come together with a common interest, without geography or where they live being an issue. It is almost like creating your own community with a lot of people who have the same beliefs and values as you, without having to move. Here are some tools that digital activists use, that I found on EnResetKnowledge:
- Micro blogging
- Mobile phones
- Proxy Servers
- Social Media
- Online Petitions
I believe that in this day and age, digital activism can be very effective if used appropriately. According too Anna Rees, a number of factors strongly come into play regarding who should get involved and how when regarding digital activism. She explains that people should have computer literacy, internet accessibility, censorship, and mobile campaigns. I think it is wonderful that anyone can voice their opinion online, but it should be within a respectful and appropriate manner. I personally am not one to post a lot on social media, and have honestly never been apart of digital activism. Although I am not involved with it, I think it is great how many people are changing lives and coming together! An example that I thought of was back in 2014, and it was called the Ice Bucket Challenge. This challenge was one that started from one person trying to raise awareness for ALS, and blew up to be a huge event that an enormous amount of people participated in. Celebrities even completed the challenge, and the ALS foundation ended up raising about 115 million dollars because of this one person wanted to make a difference and put on social media. Digital activism does not all have to be about protesting someone or something, it can be about bringing people together to help benefit others lives by helping to raise money or even just hope. I am hoping to be apart of some sort of positive digital activism eventually in my life!
Here is a link to a shorter video on digital activism and its positive effects! https://youtu.be/AN-kIJI_5wg