Thursday, May 28, 2015

Psychology of Social Media Week 5

This week in class we have been talking about digital altruism and activism. Otherwise known as slacktivism. Here's a bit of my opinion on slacktivism:
Slacktivism is a means and not an end to a cause. I see it as a way of bringing more broad awareness to issues, which then allows individuals who may have specifics skills or influences to help in a crucial way. It’s like networking for a good cause. I may not have a specific way to contribute towards a cause or issue but one of my friends might. So my sharing something regarding the issue can be helpful if that friend is made aware of their capacity to help. I also see it as a way of shifting public opinion and attitudes. As small as my circle of influence is, I at least do influence a few people, and if I post things that are against homophobia, for example, and that influences my friends to rethink something and change then I see that post as very effective.
I think social media is the perfect way for people to connect in ways that are meaningful. It gives people who otherwise couldn’t a giant megaphone. It also gives general people the ability to choose who they give that megaphone to, rather than governments or corporations. It is ultimately up to the individual what they click on and what they share with their networks, and so the right issues come to the surface and the traditional media is playing catch up to social media instead of the other way around. It’s putting media in the hands of the general public, and I really think that is a good thing.

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