Social Media and Social Justice

Connectivity as power is something we see in practice ALL. THE. TIME. on social media. Just think of the recent spread of the hashtags for #Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter as well as the general rise is sharing evidence of police brutality. It exemplifies as well how these movements aren’t tied to one specific social media website. It encompasses Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine: its spread is frankly enormous. As discussed in the lecture, social media provides an avenue for mass communication that doesn’t rely on or enforce passivity. Think about using a telephone, even – in order for one person to get their information across, the other must be silent in order to hear. Whereas, on social media you can be putting out information and absorbing information from others at such a rapid pace that it is effectively simultaneous.

And it isn’t only in areas of massive political significance (‘only’ seems very much the wrong word for a statement about such a hugely important thing). The applications for this massively powerful system of communication are crazy numerous! During the Christchurch earthquake a few years ago, Kiwi friends of mine living in Australia where entirely unable to get onto family back home through the clogged up phone lines, and so social media became a hub for New Zealanders abroad looking to find if their loved ones were alright, in a huge organised effort which took place and was communicated entirely over social media like Facebook.

Police Brutality meme2

And one more for the road.

Police Brutality meme3

Makes claims that young people spend too much time on their phones seem pretty trivial, huh?