Because of how often we use social media and how easily it becomes a part of our daily lives, it can be hard to realize the power behind a post. Social media can be an incredible tool in the fight for protecting human rights and improving upon your role as an everyday activist.
If it's hard to imagine what can be accomplished with social media, look towards Egypt where their Arab Spring revolution was strengthened and organized through social media. Marches and protests were started and spread from Facebook, and the mass organization of people was only possible because of how easy it is to connect and inform others through this online resource. There is so much within that one revolution that would not have been possible without the help of social media because the pressure that was forced against the government came from these grand demonstrations organized through social media events.
Thus, social media makes communication easier not only in the sense of how far word can spread but the amount of people you can reach as well. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are easy opportunities for you to create bigger followings in your projects and gain support from friends across the globe.
So where do I start?
So now you're asking yourself, "How am I going to use social media for social justice? Where should I even start?"
The first step is always the hardest, but it can be as simple as writing out a Facebook post on the issue you are passionate about and sharing it with your community. This starts a conversation and gives others the opportunity to share their own opinion on the subject. What was once a silent issue that left people quietly suffering, now becomes a problem a community can actively deconstruct and work towards fixing.
Whether you've got 100 or 1000 friends/followers, if your message makes just one of them stop and think about what you're saying, you're on the right track to making a difference. You have the power to use your online community to bring awareness to issues. But don’t let it stop there. The next step is to create action and fuel change in your community. Create a Facebook event or tweet out an invite for a community meeting where everyone can discuss grievances and organize what should be done next. Use social media to get the word out so that as many people come as possible come, and employ your friends and peers to help you set up a time and place to have the assembly.
Now that you have created a social justice society that is ready to take on their human rights issue, it's time to organize how you want to set out on your path for change. As you organize events whether that be marches, protests, meetings, or something else, use social media frequently and effectively. Let people know when, where, and why events are happening, and encourage people to come! If they cannot come to events in person, tell them to spread the word, for a global community of support can only add to the power of the project at home.
Additionally, take advantage of capturing the moments you are gathering your community together and taking action.
Pictures of the work you are doing can be incredibly encouraging and inspiring for people near and far from where you are, and a post on Instagram can be the spark that signs hundreds more followers onto your project. Never forget that a picture can have just as much if not more power than the words you write, so make sure to post pictures on social media in order to spread information about the issues you are fighting and what you are doing to combat them.
You have the power to create a change in the world, and it can start as quickly and easily as writing a social media post. Become an everyday activist for yourself and others and use your power today!