The Influence of Social Media on Social Issues
Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of concerned global citizens proved that social media has the power to significantly impact and create change in our everyday lives. If you are wondering what over a half a million people were tweeting about yesterday, you must have not had cell service or access to a TV. I’m talking about the overwhelming world-wide support and attention that Troy Anthony Davis received from strangers around the world, hours and minutes before his execution. I’m not going to get into the details of the case or play sides. I want to discuss how social media is used by people during social crises and the influence it has on various social issues.
Wednesday morning, the usual silly phrases were trending nationally, by lunch with the help of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and Diddy, #TooMuchDoubt and #WhoIsTroyDavis were trending nationally and globally. For the day, Twitter and Facebook acted as live news streams and digital forums for the masses. Those who were questioning “Who is Troy Davis” Wednesday morning knew the answer by Wednesday afternoon. People were able to watch a compelling story unfold on their timelines. Users were able to share links to news stories, petitions, and locations and pictures of protests and rallies in Davis’ honor. Yesterday, social media sites were a crate box people were able to stand on and speak out. Times like this, with large retweet chains and sharing, social media allows a person to get their voice heard by people across the country and the world. Without social media, this would not be possible.
Yesterday wasn’t the first time news was able to go global in minutes because of social media. I remember that I learned about the devastating earthquake in Haiti via Twitter. It was also through this social site that I learned of great ways to make monetary donations and help out victims through various relief efforts. Social sites help people stay connected during diasters and informed of minute by minute happenings. Social media has adapted to everything that is social in our world. We do not just post statuses and tweet updates, we share concern, ask for opinions, and most importantly ask for action from our followers and friends.
Social media brings social issues to the people and allows them to react. Social media gives people the power to speak to the world and be an agent of change. Social media puts rest to the thought that one person can not make a difference, that a small group of citizens can not create real lasting change. If you keep tweeting about your organization to the right following you will be able to get funding, supporters, and attention for your cause. Social media sites are the new way of going door to door posting flyers and standing on the streets. Social media is a way for people to connect with one another and share their issues and concerns.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that has ever.” -Margaret Mead