When society hears the word activism, they tend to think of marches, picket signs, and sit-ins. However there is a new face of activism among the youth, and it is digital. The digital world has so much to offer activists. The availability of information on the internet can unite the world against or in favor of any issue. For instance, the internet allows for activists to share their message and public opinion. Take Eduardo, for example, finalist for the teen activist award. Eduardo spreads a message of peace and compassion through the use of Twitter and YouTube.
Eduardo founded the @EndBullyinNow account to help spark a conversation about controversial issues like eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, self harm, bullying and other types of suffering. Eduardo’s account united people who have suffered through bullying and other types of social isolation due to social pressures. The account gave people a safe place to talk about their problems and gain support. Eduardo sparked an anti-bullying campaign through the use of social media that turned into a suicide prevention movement, eating disorder awareness and prevention movement, and an overall anti-self harm movement.
Eduardo’s use of video and vlogging blew up on the internet. The movement captured the world and made the tough issues like suicide, a topic that can be discussed and prevented through united strength. Eduardo shared his story with the world, and it turned out that most of the world could relate or knew someone who could relate to his story. When Eduardo shared his deepest vulnerabilities with the world, he gave others suffering the strength to combat the obstacles in their own lives.
My freshman year in college, I hosted a Fast for Darfur as a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization Invisible Children. The Invisible Children organization aims to provide aid to the children displaced or injured by the war in Uganda. The even I planned at hosted was a twenty-four hour fast that was sponsored per hour by individuals and small businesses. During the fast we made posters to promote the Invisible Children organization and we posted them in local businesses, parks, and schools. During the activities that took place with the fast, all the participants took many pictures and posted them to social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. However, besides the digital documentation of the fast, there was no other use of social media in this act of political activism. As I now reflect on digital activism, I realized that I could have incorporated social media in many more ways to help promote the Invisible Children message.