Digital Activism

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The Six Activist Functions of Digital Tech describes the ways that people are able to use technology to achieve results in the situations that they lack the control to achieve results in traditional ways. Digital technology provides an outlet for certain groups of people or populations who, at times, feel aggrieved about topics in their lives and see cyberspace as a course of action that they could collectively take to discuss or improve that situation. This venue is especially popular in countries where citizens are not allowed to speak freely about government topics or where the new is censored to prevent information from getting out. Online communication allows people who have a grievance to share their opinions connecting with others who have similar opinions and providing a platform for those who want a change. Technology allows for groups to communicate and plan some “under the radar” action to work in addressing their issues. Listed below are the ways that people have used technology to further their causes.

  1. SHAPE PUBLIC OPINION
  2. PLAN AN ACTION
  3. PROTECT ACTIVISTS
  4. SHARE A CALL TO ACTION
  5. TAKE ACTION DIGITALLY
  6. TRANSFER RESOURCES

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Digital resources also provide a powerful tool for young people to form groups to support each other through good times and bad.  Teenagers have found technology to be a way to communicate about depression, bullying, eating disorders and other issues that affect their lives. This form of interaction can be very helpful, not only for the initiator but for others experiencing the same situations. They can form a network to talk and support each other to make getting through rough times easier, this allows teens to make a difference for others and connect to help others going through tough life experiences.

Elementary students have also been able to create blogs and videos to raise awareness of issues and to educate by using their technology skills and distributing information about causes that can help the general public simply by their willingness to research and share their abilities. Students young and old can and are making a difference when they choose to use their influence wisely and help others or promote valuable causes.

There are many innovative ways that teens and adults can use technology to express opinions, share views and support others. Evaluating what and where to post opinions and information still plays a big part in being a responsible digital citizen and activist. In order to do the most good and reach constructive goals of digital activism, we must carefully and thoughtfully choose how we can make a difference by sharing our causes online. It is becoming an important tool for people who have limited means to express themselves and their opinions and also a way for young people to have their voices heard. I have not had the opportunity to participate personally in digital activism. I would have to feel strongly about a cause and then be willing to share my thoughts on the matter for others to see. However, I think that it can be a constructive and influential way for people of this generation to share their knowledge and opinions.

INTERNET RESOURCES:

http://www.meta-activism.org/2012/02/digital-activism-101-the-5-activist-functions-of-technology/

http://www.smartbrief.com/original/2013/03/my-kids-cause-and-our-classroom-blog

http://shortyawards.com/category/6th/teenactivism

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/teen-online-activism

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7 thoughts on “Digital Activism”

  1. I haven’t participated in digital activism yet either. And like you, I would need to find a cause that I feel extremely passionate about before I do. I tend to be very reserved when it comes to expressing my opinions about controversial topics.

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    1. Part of the reason that I don’t post much or state many opinions online is because of personality and my career. Some things I just prefer to be private about…:)

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  2. This post really helped me see the differences in various approaches to activism. I think we often see the “raising awareness” type of activism happening–but more rarely the other types. Certainly raising awareness is very important, but I wonder how much overall changes because of that?

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    1. Activism is one of those tricky subjects. We all want to make a difference in our world, but how to do it constructively and shed a positive light?

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