Technology has changed our world. I don’t think there are many people who would disagree with this statement. In decades past, the way to partake in social activism was to gather at rallies, march with posters, and take a stand for what you believed in. For a time, this was the only way that individuals felt their voices could be heard. Now, things are beginning to look a little different. The digital world we are living in provides a completely new platform and launch pad for activism, and members of our youngest generations are some of its most outspoken participants.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs have become extremely powerful in the last few years. Before, if you had an opinion that you wanted to share with people in your local area, you would have to have it written in a newspaper, or broadcasted on a news channel or radio station. Rapid growth of the digital world gives the ability to be heard, to anyone with internet access. Getting the word out or spreading your opinion really can be just as simple as sending a tweet that’s only 140 characters in length.
This newfound method of communication and social activism may not yet be fully understood, supported, or accepted by all members of every generation, but it is most definitely here to stay. In Teen Vogue’s “The New Face of Teen Activism“, Victoria Snow advocates for teen activism in the digital world. “…we’re organizing, we’re creating, we’re signal-boosting, we’re creating awareness. We’re changing the world,” she says. The wonderful thing about digital activism is that through the internet, you are capable of reaching audiences far more wide and diverse than if you were to host a physical rally that only people located within that vicinity could attend.. This form of teen activism is far more effective than any other has been before. Snow explains that she and her fellow activists are “connected by a community of interest, not geography.” There are no physical boundaries to stand in their way. Through the digital world, any change can be possible.
I personally have not been involved in very much digital activism until very recently. As I continue to get older, I have paid more attention to both local and global issues, and I believe that it is important to stand up for what you believe is right. No matter your age or geographic location, access to the digital world provides an opportunity to be heard.
As educator Bill Ferriter shares in “My kids, a cause and our classroom blog“, allowing students to be active participants in the digital world gives them a sense of purpose, significance, and motivation to make changes across the world for a better tomorrow.