Digital Activism is an easier way of putting your opinion out there! So easy! All it takes is a status or photo change, an online donation, a signed e-petition, or an email to your congressman. Maybe because you aren’t out marching or protesting, some people call this “slactivism”, but don’t listen to that, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life! Who cares if you would rather make your voice heard quickly instead of pushing your point in person. I for one, have signed several online petitions. I’m not saying that they’re huge issues like changing laws all of the time, which I have done, but sometimes it’s easy to get passionate about something that others will think is silly, such as signing a change.org petition to bring back a television show which touches you.
Honestly, I never really thought of what I post online as any form of activism, but last week, I posted a blog about cyberbullying that I realized was, in fact, a form of activism albeit a “lazy” one. It didn’t matter that I didn’t go out and protest on the street or organize a march on Washington to make change. Those days have passed, even though marches and sit-ins made amazing changes in our social consciousness. We live in a time when the internet is an amazing tool to help others and pushing your agenda, even if it isn’t exactly well researched.
The beauty of the internet is that it is anonymous. While that allows bullies to flourish, it also allows activism to do so as well. You are able to spread news and ideas as well as inform. It is, however, easy to get lost in all of the other voices online. So, you need to stay active. Like anything, persistence is best. Keep spreading the word and people will eventually listen.
Social media is an excellent tool for activism. I have been looking at one of the nominees for the Shorty Award for teen activism. A seventeen year old named Jason Harris runs Hope (@3000lives) from his small town home. Jason tweet inspiring and relatable phrases to spread hop and help people with their struggles. He reaches out to others and raises awareness for suicide prevention. Assuring others that they are worthy, Jason tries to tell others that suicide is not an option and that life is worth living, he also gives the number for the suicide prevention hotline in order to give those he can’t help another option. During his work, he has been available to talk 24/7, saved 29 lives, and won a Jefferson Award, which celebrates public service.
I think that suicide prevention goes hand-in-hand with my anti-cyberbullying wishes because too many young people who are bullied online commit suicide. I like what Jason is doing, and his community should be very proud of him because he is using the internet to spread his beliefs and help others.