Social media: A modern tool for social change

Social media has become more and more prevalent in our everyday lives. What role has this played in social movements? 

There is no denying that we are living in a time of historical social change. Especially since the mid-20th century, there have been a series of social movements aiming to create change. From the Black Lives Matter movement to the continued fight for reproductive rights to the injustices happening in Palestine, there have continued to be social movements aiming to protect everyone’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.   

What similarities do each of these movements have in common? Social media.  

Each of these movements has used social media to further their cause and reach a broader audience. This in turn has allowed for social movements to become more effective by allowing those movements to create a concrete narrative and connect to a larger population. It has allowed many to come together to form movements and bring awareness to issues. I have seen entire communities unite through social media and fight for social change.  

Social media has become one of the most pivotal innovations to date. It allows people to connect even miles away and offers new perspectives and information. In addition, social media has made these movements some of the most well-recorded events in history. 

We have been able to capture footage of the atrocities being committed by governmental authorities such as the police, military and politicians. We can see the response from the public as well. This has allowed these movements to also be indisputable.  

Social movements and change are more important now than ever. We can literally see the events of the Hunger Games unfolding in the real world. It’s a disturbing connection and even more disturbing truth.  

Social media. A social movement tool. Illustration by Cole.