Social Media: A Tool for Change


Keshav Sota, Online Editor

Social media has the potential to have many positive effects. Using mediums such as Facebook or Twitter, we can communicate with our loved ones and old friends whom we haven’t seen in ages in seconds, and find out what other people are doing in their lives. However, social media is not limited to personal connection; social media has taken on a new form and has slowly crept into another field: politics. Social media has become so popular in part because it allows people to share their ideas beyond geographical boundaries in a fast and cost-effective manner.

There are numerous examples of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter playing a significant role in promoting political awareness and enabling a revolution in just weeks. DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, is perhaps the best case to demonstrate the far-reaching impact that social media can have. While the Supreme Court discussed the constitutionality of the act, supporters of marriage equality changed their profile picture on Facebook to a red quality sign, a symbol of marriage equality for all. Various human rights campaigns also demonstrated their views by changing their iconic blue and yellow logo to red on Facebook.

The logo became widely spread in a relatively short time period due to a chain reaction. People started liking and sharing the picture on Facebook with their friends. Within a few days of the launch, the logo was seen by over 9,000,000 people and shared over 777,000 times from its Facebook page. Politicians and celebrities alike, such as Governor Martin O’ Malley and actor George Takei, further expanded its popularity across the United States by re-tweeting it and posting it on their respective pages. In these instances, social media’s powers were harnessed properly to help bring about an important change. As we continue in the 21st century, social media will become an even more powerful tool to bring change. From bringing revolutions in the Middle East to reforming policies, it has already given a glimpse as to the beneficial potential it has.

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