The Power of Social Media

Social media has always been a knight in shining armour to us civilians; it gives us the ability to say pretty much whatever we want, whenever we want, on whatever media platform we want.  Power to the people! Free speech! But can social media really play a part in activism?

Dr. James Caverlee states that, “The social web and social media have essentially become weapons of mass persuasion.”  I personally think that this is correct and has been shown through events such as Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring which is spoken about in the video below.

Social media is booming at the moment with Facebook and Twitter taking the lead with 1,110,000,000 and 554,750,000 users respectively. I’m not sure if you know how much one person is but 1,110,000,000 is a hell of a lot of people and that allows for a massive reach. For example if one person posts something all their friends see it, if 3 friends like this post all their friends see it and it constantly moves around Facebook. Now think back to when Kony 2012 was circulating the internet and remember how many times you saw the same post or how many of your friends quickly hopped on the bandwagon to share the Kony 2012 story. Kony 2012 spread like wildfire over all social media platforms and is a prime example of how social media can pick something up and take it right to the top (and back down again).

The image below shows how successful social media was in spreading the story of Joseph Kony.

Kony 2012 in facts and figures

Overall, social media is a very powerful tool and while one stick may be weak, when working together many sticks can stay strong, this is the case in social media as people band together and make their voices heard.


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