ARTICLE 1: Youth and the (Potential) Power of Social Media
The youth today are considered the “digital natives” of the century because of the common culture (macro culture) they grew up with. The youth today can easily communicate amongst generalized peers and can create strong associations across the countries within seconds through the internet and digitalized media. With the internet vastly seeping through our lives, the internet and social medias can easily commence social and political changes. China being one of the greatest technological consumers today, “there is a case for seeing this uptake of culture and subculture through technology [towards] China’s political transformation.”When cable first came out, it was the only the beginning of the media diversity movement that can subliminally exploit subcultural diversity to its audience. The Chinese culture is wealthy with many citizens adopting to the technology hype very quickly. Consumers want to be in control of what is around them, allowing them to edit and create new measures with their smart phones and fully conquer the technology that is available to them.While others use the internet for social media purposes, there are some that is itching to create political change by using the digitalized networks to empower change within their communities. With the freedom use of the internet, others are taking advantage of their citizenship to express and protest their issues to the public. Netizens (Chinese citizens) challenged the Chinese Communist Party by declaring free elections just because they can voice out opinions without physically being there in the public. Being able to hide behind their devices thats penetrating and changing their everyday lives became an opportunity for them to voice out their opinions and create a movement within seconds.
Haiqing Yu argues that with this great technology change, people are beginning to exercise their rights as citizen and has been given a chance to change the national, social, and political boundaries.
ARTICLE 2: Protest: Critical Lessons of Using Digital Media for Social Change
Sharon Joy Showalter started an electronic movement against Ken Cuccinelli’s discriminatory letter upon forcing to revoke sexual orientation from nondiscrimination clauses within the state colleges and universities. Showalter created a Facebook page description of her issue, which then became an activist central within minutes. Her page attracted many students and the public in minutes in knowing that social media today can create a dent in society and form social change. This article was written to “consider the strengths and weakness of digital media in the organization of student activism.” Social media today can represent for society as a whole and how it influences contemporary activism because almost everybody is online! Even when Cuccinelli reported to have sent the official letter to the Virginia Legislative Assembly during Spring Break to reduce the heat upon the issue, the students pushed through their electronical protest even further. Creating accounts on Twitter, Youtube and chatrooms to spread the issue even further to the public; creating major attention. Sharon argues that having digital media to start their protest helps a lot than those protests without technological help during the 1960’s-1970’s. Reduce amount of money, time and effort to accomplish the same results as before. Sharon compares student activism today and decades ago saying that students have it made nowadays. Back then they had to make tons of copies to even promote their movement, pay for advertisements to create the movement, organizing physical meetings to create followers and petitions. Today student protests can easily be achieved within clicks of their mouses and comments regarding the movement. Although technology and the internet can support many movements today and disperse information very easily, it still has that debate of “are students really into the movement, or are they just in it to be in it?” Nevertheless, Showalters created a movement to disregard Cuccinelli’s letter to decline sexual orientation within discriminations, and with the help of well used social tools she was able to not only create an awareness of it but to also help students realize that social media can be used as a tool that can educate, strengthen commitments, and contribute to their peers and social change.
How do these discussions connect to each other?
These discussions both appreciate the means of social media and the internet when making a public movement. Both connecting to Shirky’s argument that technological and social tools can create social and political change when used correctly.
How do they connect to what we have read thus far?
Both articles created an awareness for the public and creating social change. Same as Shirky’s argument, that social media can contribute to social change by using technology as a leverage to break through social and political walls. Giving the public an easier way to regroup and contribute to many issues, and to also empower them to practice their citizenship by voicing out their concerns. Allowing them to create a movement on their own.
What do they contribute?
Both articles both contributed social change, whether its for political reasons or social changes. They both voiced out their opinions and created a movement within the usage of the internet and their social medias.