Social Media For Social Change
The power of social media is hard to dismiss. What once seemed like an insignificant way to keep in touch, sharing photos, jokes and information with friends, has become an agent for social change. Not only have social media helped in throwing light on topics that were suppressed, it has also helped in resolving those issues. Social media has helped to create a ”global village” and an imagined audience. Also, the very fact that it has been estimated that by 2018, 2.44 billion people will be using social networks, up from 970,000 in 2010 says a lot about how social media platforms function and emerge. From a luxury, it has become a necessity.
There have been many ways to understand the potential of social media. Many campaigns engaging young people in efforts to prevent violence against women, have been designed to motivate young people to take action. These campaigns have revealed the effective use of social media tools for violence prevention.
Various campaigns have taken place, petitions have been signed and events have been made in order to unite for the social issues with the help of texting, emails, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. One way these platforms have been used to eliminate violence is by creating effective social media campaignsm that have communities driving the campaign. Creating a core group and promoting a strong sense of ownership of the campaign within this group is the first step. The core group, who serves as a foundation of the campaign could consist of representatives from the target audience. Social media tools can be used to expose target audiences to positive messages about gender equality and to mobilise these audiences to engage. It can be used to promote critical discussion and engage the target audience on a deeper level. It is also essential to identify everyone that need to be convinced and influenced in order to bring about change, understand and analyse the problems.
Protecting the confidentiality of people who have experienced and committed acts of violence and the use of real names should be avoided. Social media campaigns have been used to as an effective way of mobilizing youth and promoting discussion and reflection around key topics, creating positive behaviors and guiding target audiences to positive solutions. The key message in any communication campaign should be relevant and brief to the problem and what impact it would have on the audience, should be clear with its solutions. Social media can create an impact only if the message is viral. The viral nature must be built into the campaign in order for people to share content with others.
This is just one example of how a campaign can be carried out by using various social media platforms. The youth wants to participate and engage in order to be able to bring a social change. The people attempting to create a change should make sure that they are consistent in their approach, measure the social change taking place and further continue to improve the relation that can be established through social media tools and the audience.
About the Author
Prashasti Arora is currently pursuing a degree in Journalism and Mass communication at Lady Shri Ram College for Women. In her words “I am inclined towards writing, editing and like upgrading my skills that help me grow both personally and professionally. I like interacting and brainstorming with people to come up with ideas and discussions worth the time and effort.”
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