Double Tap for Change


tentree on Instagram

With social media, any user can bring about change with no cost or inconvenience.

Caitlyn Truong, Editor

When reformers such as Martin Luther in the sixteenth century wanted to raise awareness and support for a cause, they crafted, printed, and distributed pamphlets and trusted the power of the spoken word. When reformers such as Emma Gonzalez today want to raise awareness and support for a cause, they post on social media within a few minutes and trust the power of the repost.


Social media has unquestionably transformed the world on deep and complex levels, most notably on the level of social and political movements. The ease of access to the Internet as well as the popularity of social networks have made social media truly powerful tools in today’s digital age.


In light of environmental disasters, controversial legislation, and social issues, those working to create change have turned to the largest and most used platform: social media. Whether in the form of photos of Instagram or 140-character messages on Twitter, individuals seek to make their posts “go viral,” or become unfathomably popular. Reformers take advantage of this trend by encouraging users to repost, share, like, and comment on posts raising awareness about movements.


Individual users have taken to social media as a means of publicly supporting movements and opinions by reposting the statements of others in order to draw attention and support. The recent abortion legislation in Alabama and Georgia has particularly received an extensive platform on social media, with millions of users reposting the opinions of others or posting their own opinions. Polarizing debates such as these inevitably attract conflicting perspectives which only add to the appeal of posting on social media because users are more than willing to defend their views.


Shifa Mirza (11), however, does not feel intimidated by the prospect of arguing with potentially a friend by posting her political views on social media. “I think it’s important to express what we believe in. Even if you don’t necessarily agree with my opinion, you’re still becoming aware of the issue.”


In addition to serving as an opportunity for individual users to openly support their views, social media also works as a commercial advantage for companies or even political figures to advertise their campaign. The 2016 election, for example, was largely influenced by the tweets of candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.


On a lighter note, social media can also serve to raise awareness about important issues such as environmental change. A recent trend has been environmental organizations pledging to donate a dollar for each like, comment, view, or repost. If an image of an egg can receive a record-breaking 53.5 million likes, it is hopeful that an image of the melting ice caps can receive a considerable amount of likes and thus donations as well.


Social media is a tool of almost unprecedented power and influence in regards to raising awareness about political, social, and environmental issues. Whether individuals are posting their views or liking a post to donate a dollar, social media has the potential to change the world for the better.