Monthly Archives: July 2013
Hey guys! So this is our last assignment for the semester and tis week we were asked to make a Storify on the topic of our choice. I was really interested in the music sharing topic from week 5 so i thought I’d talk about that! Hope you all enjoy!! I uploaded the link above ^^^^^
With these weeks blog post I was curious to see how my group members rated their activist participation. There has been such an abundance of citizen journalism emerging with the help of social media, and I know that my group members and I are engaged on some of these platforms so I wanted to see what they thought about online vs offline activism.
I had an exact 50/50 spilt. Two of my group members decided that even though their contributions to socially responsible issues may be minimal they were mostly participating online. Both of my self-admitted online activists claimed that it is the ease of online petitions and new feeds updates that encourage them to post opinions and show support. colecrerar90 says that, “as a user of both Facebook and Twitter it definitely encourages me to participate as a citizen journalist because it seems like everyone these days is contributing somehow with their views and/or opinions on relevant news”. The example that I threw up about some online activist campaigns was Kony 2012 and nzaduban wrote in her post that she too shared the link and was encouraged by social media to retweet and distribute the content.
My other two groups members were more like myself. They were both unphased by the craze that is citizen journalism. What they wrote in their comments were more directed towards their feelings on the effectiveness of online activism. cromero2013 actually brought in an outside source and in her comment and she talks about how,” In the article it states that critics refer to online activism as “slacktivism” and that it is not a very effective way to create change. Mostly because as you stated, anyone can be involved even if they do not really care about the cause and all that is required is sitting in a chair and pushing a “like” button or typing your name on a petition.”
Although my group was spilt down the middle in regards to their participation they all seemed to agree on the effectiveness of online activism, or rather its lack of effectiveness. Even though online participation seems to be the more convenient route to showing support all group members decided that offline activism shows a more meaningful message to the cause you are fighting for. Just like melaniemunroe said, “you need to get out in the world in order to make a difference.”
I think that there has been a rapid transformation of new media forms that can help connect with different communities virtually anywhere in the world at a low and affordable cost. These platforms give us endless opportunities to have our voices heard. “An important attribute of the net (broadly understood) is its capacity to facilitate horizontal, or civic communication: people and organizations can link up with each other for purposes of sharing information, providing mutual support, organizing, mobilizing, or solidifying collective identities.” Dalhgren (2012) Social media technologies such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Blogs, and Forums have become the preferred methods of interaction and are seriously changing the patterns of social communication and activism. After doing the readings I wanted to focus on the differences between online vs offline activism, and give some benefits/opportunities but also some drawbacks.
I quickly just wanted to look at what online and offline activists are. Signing online petitions, liking certain campaigns on social media websites, or organizing movements within the cyber space are all examples of actions an online activist may participate in. An offline activist is someone who may participate in all of the above actions, but also participates in movements outside the Internet space.
So we have talked previously in this class about the importance of our online personas, and how we are always trying to stay actively engaged. One way to stay engaged with your communities is to become an online activist. There are tons of online forums, petitions and video sharing opportunities online and one can easily help a cause my “liking” a page, or sharing a viral video. This is one of the benefits social media has given to social activism, ultimate convenience. I could basically sit on my computer chair and be participating in something. It also generates a larger number of those who have become aware of the need for action. Even though the whole Kony video was a bit of a bust, it is a great example of the vast amount of people that a viral video can reach due to social media. Bruns & Highfield explain this opportunity of social media perfectly, they said, “the rise of the Internet as a popular medium has led to a substantial increase in available channels for information and entertainment, among other purposes.” There are of course some people to may believe that online activism is a bit of a cop-out and that the only way to be really involved, and really show support is through physically being there, and physically inputting yourself into the campaign at hand.
So my question for you fellow bloggers is…….”Do you consider yourself an online activists, If so how?!” Also, “Do you think that online activism is just as supportive as offline activism?”
This is my picture for this week, and I used it because I know it was totally circulating all over social media after the whole Kony thing. And I know that it caused to debates so I thought it was a good picture to depict the indifference between online vs offline activism.
Bruns, A. & T. Highfield. (2012). Blogs, Twitter, and breaking news: The produsage of citizen journalism. pre-publication draft on personal site [Snurb.info]. Published in: Lind, R. A. ed. (2012). Produsing Theory in a Digital World: The Intersection of Audiences and Production. New York: Peter Lang. p15-32.
Dahlgren, P. (2012). Reinventing participation: civic agency and the web environment. Geopolitics, History, and International Relations. 4.2, p27.