It has always been a notion of mine that online activism leads somewhere, but most times nowhere. Upon studying this week’s module in our digital literacy course, I have changed my thinking. I have came to the conclusion that digital activism is a good place to start, and can actually be a good place to end too. My specific interests have online activism locations, and I thought it great that I could start my activism there. Also upon researching the top online teen activists in the country I saw that online activism can stay in the online sphere and be effective. The teen activist that I researched was Eduardo Solis and his twitter handle is @EndBullyinNow. Solis and other teens really honed in on bullying, teen suicide, and mental illnesses. Solis was and is able to bring an entire community of these troubled youth together through online activism. His main emphasis is to “stay strong” and that teens aren’t alone in how they feel. Teens are able to express themselves through color coding the “stay strong” message and writing it on their arms. This allowed me to see that one person can change many lives through the use of online media. He didn’t have to meet with anyone or protest on the corner, he simply had to recognize that there was a large number of teens out there who felt alienated with their problems, and then created an online community that centered on helping kids to feel better.
I am very interested in the natural environment specifically in regards to national forests, national parks, national monuments, and national wilderness areas. I found a good article on digital activism with regards to the natural environment here. It too reflected my thinking that online activism is a great place to start in the activism realm. It is fairly easy and sparks an interest to take online activism into the real world. Even though Eduardo Solis’s activism was online centered it still encouraged people to treat one another better in the real world. The heart of good online activism, obviously, enacts change in our day to day lives. It allows for a healthy human environment, and a world where the power of majority opinion is honored. There are many steps to online activism and they can be difficult to follow, but I feel this reading helped to explain some of the steps. I felt this article did a great job of explaining how money can be utilized in the online realm to promote change.
As I have said before the very term “social” is being redefined. It is no longer only day-to-day interactions among people in the concrete world. The term is being shifted towards our online community, and through the results that online activism can have it is no wonder why. An online community is a powerful, social tool and we must continue to strive to use that format responsibly in order for its activism to be given the credit that it deserves.