This Tuesday’s class on social media activism was a really good one for me to [virtually] attend. Being that it is 2017, I have most definitely heard about, seen, perhaps even unconsciously participated in social media activism. As I mention in my title though, I find this type of social media very tricky. Our society seems so sensitive nowadays that you never know when or how you are going to offend anyone. In everything I do, I always just want everyone to get along, in fact my number one strength in Clifton Strengths Finder is Harmony. I get quite irritated when people take things personally and in terms of social media, when viewers seem to think we should all prescribe to the same belief system or causes. It’s unrealistic and even unhealthy that we would all believe in the same things so I’m not sure why certain people find it necessary to argue our beliefs so strongly.
Image via Giphy.
Along this same point, there is so much negativity online which I believe can also deter people from making a difference online. For example, Katia mentioned how some people or groups were not too happy with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, because it, in essence, took money from other charities due to its popularity. To me, this is just people trying to find something to complain about. I believe it is things like this that can discourage productive conversations about social activism. Speaking for myself, I don’t want to bring up something and then have people criticize me for bringing it up. I don’t know that my skin is that thick! Is there anyone else who feels this way as well?
Having said all this, I do see the merit and value in moving beyond a personally responsible citizen to a participatory or digitally oriented citizen. We have this wonderful tool, the internet and all of its platforms, at our disposal, so I think it is up to us to do our best to use it effectively. Though it may not always be easy or comfortable, (especially for a Harmony person such as myself), baby steps are a good way to start. I feel like I could start by simply sharing a news article, sharing a link for a charity or cause that is important to me. Once I feel comfortable with that, I could move more into social activism. Does anyone else feel like they need to set themselves up a little action plan such as this?