Social Media as a Platform for Social Change

I am sure if you have spent any amount of time on any of the numerous social media platforms available to the public, such as Facebook or Twitter, you are aware of a a big decision being made over in Washington D.C. on the legalities of gay marriage. Without even addressing which side is right or which side is wrong, an interesting thing that is hard to avoid right now are all of the posts, pictures, and opinions being broadcasted.

In this case, something that has been quite overwhelming to me is the new trend of changing one’s profile picture to a symbolic picture representing ones side. Honestly, I do not understand the purpose sometimes with the usage of Facebook as a megaphone for all political opinions. A changed profile picture, without an explanation of the symbolism behind the picture, is not going to sway anyone’s opinion in either direction. So if social media isn’t being used to change people’s opinions, how can social media be used as a platform for change?

Well it’s simple really, social media has the unique and overwhelming ability to make the world a smaller place. Suddenly anyone and everyone with an opinion can come together and share it with others. This means that someone over in Europe can even weigh in on a topic regarding lawmaking in America, and while it does absolutely nothing directly to the actual vote count for any legislation, it acts as a pressure point for decision making to happen at all. It forces different issues to the table when masses come together and make their voices heard.

It’s been interesting to see everything unwind this week, but I would be lying if I did not say I’m ready for everyone to get back to “normal”, where everyone just posts pictures about their pets or complain about how busy they are.

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