From Kimye and Taylor to Time’s Up and Me Too, the online world encourages us to speak up and stay true.
The internet has sparked rebellion against norms and challenges the way we live. It spreads awareness about current, relevant and important issues to a wider body of people that no other platform has ever reached.
Mental health, for example, has lost an element of stigma in recent years thanks to new routes to expression and honesty. A sense of belonging can easily be reached through social media. Common interests are easy to find with entire accounts dedicated to individual films, books and people.
Whilst it’s crucial to remain safe and responsible online, we must remember that the vast majority of users are friendly and have good intentions, just like you and me.
A YouGov poll in 2016 found that 85% of women aged 18-24 had experienced sexual harassment in public. Movements originating online are shedding light on the intense need for social progressionand change. Within 24 hours of actress Alyssa Milano’s post, more than 4.7 million people from all over the world had joined the discussion; since then there has been over 12 million ‘Me Too’ posts and the number is increasing all the time, empowering people to speak up against this disgraceful and horrific behaviour, giving people a voice and raising awareness. Social media is allowing people around the world to band together and make a difference. The recent ‘Time’s Up’ campaign has already raised almost $16million.
According to Guardian journalist, Nadia Khomami, ‘the internet age has better equipped people to deal with these issues. Social media has democratised feminism, helping women to share experiences of sexual violence, such as on the HarassMap platform launched in Egypt, build solidarity, as seen with the #YesAllWomen hashtag that trended for weeks after Elliot Rodger went on a shooting spree in California, or keep international attention on events that slipped off the news agenda, such as the #BringBackOurGirls campaign launched after the abduction of more than 300 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria.’
We think this sums up the influence of social media in modern society, and we hope that you can take knowledge and opinions away from this to apply to everyday life.
Claudia Geake and Gabriella Cremona