I think this post is fitting given the new topics this blog will cover in the next few months. The posts on this blog will continue to talk about the pervasive influence of popular culture in our lives, particularly the notions of “Girl Power” that a lot of the authors discuss. However, this blog will also start to focus more on feminism, gender in the news, and the growth of activism through social media. So while not completely deviating from the original theme of this blog, new posts will add a new layer to our growing knowledge of feminism, changing notions of femininity and masculinity in our culture, and and the new role technology has played in activism.
Of course not all activism through social media is created equal. Oftentimes activism through social media can fail to actually mobilize people in the non-virtual world. Take for instance, the concept of “slacktivism.” I think John Conway does a great job in his piece describing the potential for activism through social media to fail. Liking a link on Facebook, or sharing a photo, or signing an online petition isn’t enough. I don’t want to undermine it’s importance, however: getting informed is the first part of fixing any problem. But slacktivists often stop there. In other words, slacktivism itself isn’t terrible, but if we don’t actually act on the information we get online, then we’re doing activism through social media a disservice.
Activism through social media has the potential to do so much, and it’s really up to us to determine how we’re going to use social media as a means to act. Take for instance, these examples of how social media facilitated some uprisings. Those are some of the more extreme examples (uprisings, revolutions, mass protests). We don’t have to start that big. What social media offers us is the chance for our activism to become that big.