In an exploration through the module links this week I learned a whole lot about activism online and through social media sites. First of all, I had to laugh because of this statement, “Take DoSomething.org, a non-profit specifically created to empower a generation who wants to, well, do something. The majority of its 2.5 million members are between the ages of 13 and 25– the rest are lovingly referred to as “old people” on the site” (Manrodt). I guess I am referred to as “old” now. I am still in my 20s but this just gave a good chuckle. And frankly, it is accurate of me. I am not a digital activist. I prefer the outdoors & am not up-to-date on all of the social media sites today. However, I do feel that people past 25 do have experiences that could be assets to an activist group.
I felt like the site The 6 Activist Functions of Technology is a must read for everyone trying to be a part of the digital activist movement or those trying to understand it.
Teen activism has become so huge…actually bigger than I knew it was. I liked this excerpt, “And since many activists lack access to traditional outlets like network television, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have become powerful forums for first-hand accounts and live reports of situations around the world. As Jim Loughran, head of media and communications for human rights group Front Line Defenders, explains, “Social media enables us to maintain a support and contact base in almost every country in the world. It no longer matters whether you are based in Dublin or Doha. We’re connected by a community of interest, not geography” (Manrodt). The New Face of Teen Activism gave me a teen’s perspective on why they choose that format for expressing their opinion & raising awareness for the causes they feel so passionately about.
In the article, My Kids, A Cause and Our Classroom I saw how teaching digital activism can be so powerful for students. It provided an explanation as to why teaching digital literacy in the classroom is so essential. Students need to be educated so they are able to handle themselves professionally online. In order to speak out about an issue they must be well-rounded and knowledgeable about the subject at hand. This article provided inspiration & keys to successfully incorporating that into the classroom.
And last, after looking through all of the finalists for the Best in Teen Activism in Social Media- The Shorty Awards, I was astonished to see that all but one provided support for teens suffering from depression, anxiety, bullying, and self-hurting. I’m glad these groups are there to help those in need but it’s quite sad that most teen struggle with these issues. Maybe I am naive and oblivious but I didn’t suffer from those things growing up. I also didn’t have an outlet like this so I feel that these lines of support are becoming vital in the happiness of teens suffering from big issues in life. Even when someone can’t be there in person, these outstanding teens are being activists and providing emotional support to those who need it the most.
So to sum this week up, I have learned valuable lessons in pursuit of becoming an educator. I have learned that teens are facing bigger issues & they want to help others but they need direction, education, and practice in a controlled setting so they can effectively help others through digital activism.