First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Maeve St. OngeFollow

Mentor/s

Professor Stephen Burrows

Participation Type

Paper Talk

Abstract

This paper will concentrate on the effects of social media on social justice movements in recent American history. Social media is at the forefront of modern-day communication, making it highly influential in how people communicate, broadcast their ideas, and form opinions; social media also makes the distribution and communication of information, whether fact or fiction, extremely easy and accessible to anyone. Social media gives everyone a platform to share and express whatever they want; from recipes to political rants, social media has quite literally every idea, view, and belief on the planet represented in one way or another from platform to platform. Although social media can lead to a more idealistically diverse population, as users can see the content from various accounts they follow, this can also lead to media literacy issues. In only following accounts that express the same opinions, the other side of the equation is not being seen at all. Whatever side of the spectrum an idea may fall on, it can be detrimental to only see ideas that align with one’s preexisting beliefs; by following a wide range of accounts, one can challenge what they already believe in hopes of becoming more media literate and truly finding what they believe in.

Social media allows like-minded people to discuss their ideas and without social media, many of the modern-day social justice movements, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, would not have been able to become widespread; these movements were organized via social media and have continued to keep momentum through social media accounts that create content people agree with and want to share. However, it can be argued that social media turned these movements into a social symbol rather than actually bringing about change. This can result in performative activism, which is the response to a social-political event only for social status or to follow a trend, and disenfranchises these movements and allows others, especially those that may disagree with the movement, to undermine the achievements of these movements by focusing on the performative activism that went along with them. Although social media has the potential to be a fantastic tool to share opinions, motivate change, and help organize social justice movements, it can also sabotage the very same movements and create more opinion-blind individuals.

College and Major available

Welch College of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, Media Arts BA

Course Name and Number, Professor Name

HN-300

Location

Digital Commons

Start Day/Time

5-5-2021 1:00 PM

End Day/Time

5-5-2021 4:00 PM

Students' Information

Double major in Media Arts (concentrations in Film & TV and Performing Arts) and Strategic Communications, Public Relations, and Advertising. I am in the honors program, and I am graduating in May 2022.

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May 5th, 1:00 PM May 5th, 4:00 PM

The Positive Effect of Social Media on Social Justice Movements in America

Digital Commons

This paper will concentrate on the effects of social media on social justice movements in recent American history. Social media is at the forefront of modern-day communication, making it highly influential in how people communicate, broadcast their ideas, and form opinions; social media also makes the distribution and communication of information, whether fact or fiction, extremely easy and accessible to anyone. Social media gives everyone a platform to share and express whatever they want; from recipes to political rants, social media has quite literally every idea, view, and belief on the planet represented in one way or another from platform to platform. Although social media can lead to a more idealistically diverse population, as users can see the content from various accounts they follow, this can also lead to media literacy issues. In only following accounts that express the same opinions, the other side of the equation is not being seen at all. Whatever side of the spectrum an idea may fall on, it can be detrimental to only see ideas that align with one’s preexisting beliefs; by following a wide range of accounts, one can challenge what they already believe in hopes of becoming more media literate and truly finding what they believe in.

Social media allows like-minded people to discuss their ideas and without social media, many of the modern-day social justice movements, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, would not have been able to become widespread; these movements were organized via social media and have continued to keep momentum through social media accounts that create content people agree with and want to share. However, it can be argued that social media turned these movements into a social symbol rather than actually bringing about change. This can result in performative activism, which is the response to a social-political event only for social status or to follow a trend, and disenfranchises these movements and allows others, especially those that may disagree with the movement, to undermine the achievements of these movements by focusing on the performative activism that went along with them. Although social media has the potential to be a fantastic tool to share opinions, motivate change, and help organize social justice movements, it can also sabotage the very same movements and create more opinion-blind individuals.

 

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