What is digital, internet and online activism?
Digital, internet, and online activism are all the same thing. They are essentially a mass effort online but using different digital tools, from people all over the world to cause a social/political change. So essentially, it is a virtual sit-in where anyone and everyone can share their opinions on/for a movement. Think protest signs online and with unlimited characters! The important thing to remember is that just like protests, sit-ins, or strikes, activism does not always work. There is no guarantee that changes will be made or your “rider list” will be met. You may change one opinion or the world. Some popular internet activism movements have been the Ice Bucket Challenge (ALS fundraiser), Think Before You Pink (breast cancer awareness), and climate change. Currently, we are seeing a big online push for race equality (Black Lives Matter movement, immigration, etc.).
Digital Activism Tools
A wide variety of tools can be used to fight online. Online petitions and fundraising are great places to find people who need the most help and a great way to reach a large audience. Almost everyone has a social media account. Blogs are essentially social media accounts with unlimited characters and more creative freedom. Podcasts, videos, and photos work just as well as other journalism platforms. It doesn’t matter where; if you create an account and interact with others, that site/program can be used for digital activism.
Digital Activism and Me
I feel like I keep bringing up how all of these digital and online topics, but it’s always the same. I do not post on my social media accounts. I feel like many individuals (myself included) are just horrified to post anything, even for a cause. On my accounts I have family, friends, students, their parents, and my work places (my school and summer job). I am in a place in my life where I need an income. I am a “fresh” adult, who is figuring out budgets and bills and responsibilities. I am not at a time in my life where I feel financially safe enough to post all of opinions to just “hope” that my bosses, employers, coworkers, or students/parents will allow to have my own thoughts and grow as a person. Maybe I am over-paranoid, overthinking, and over worrying, but to me, I would rather over do it, than under do it. Everyone has a different opinion but because of not only my field but the internet standards I hold myself too, my views will stay mine.
Other resources I did not get the time to discuss, but wish to include:
- “From Billboards to Twitter, Why the Aesthetics of Protest Matters More Today”: https://theconversation.com/from-billboards-to-twitter-why-the-aesthetics-of-protest-matters-more-today-97629
- “A Social Media ‘Blackout’ Enthralled Instagram. But Did it do Anything?”: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/social-media/social-media-blackout-enthralled-instagram-did-it-do-anything-n1230181
- “What is Slacktivism and is it Even Helping?”: https://nonprofithub.org/social-media/what-is-slacktivism-does-it-help/