My Virtual Picketsign

Everything we’ve covered so far – digital citizenship, cultivating a personal, online environment, using creativity in the virtual world- can help students become active members of digital activism. As students learning to become educators we spend so much time talking about how valuable student input is in modern education. Showing them how to effectively participate in digital activism is giving them the tools to hack their society and change it for the better. This article helped me to understand digital activism in the simplest ways.

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Unlike many things in the modern world, digital activism is free and (most of the times) allows participants to remain anonymous. Why do you think it was always easier to tell your crush you thought they were “hott” in middle school by shoving a note through their locker vents instead of saying it to their faces? Why is it so much fun to leave sarcastic comments and punny responses on YikYak posts when we don’t even like stating our opinions in class? Because our identity is unknown. This factor is both a positive and a negative in the world of digital activism.

Positive-> more people will step forward and join

Negative-> who are they!?

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Like almost everything we’ve studied so far, I compared digital activism to activism of the past. As college age students fifty to sixty years ago, if we were to protest against something the government what up to we found unjust, or advocate for a worthy cause, multiple bodies and a booming presence would be our best bet. Now in 2016 we still need as many people as we need on our side to make ourselves know, but we are no longer marching up and down streets with homemade signs displaying our thoughts in wet paint or sitting at soda shop counters waiting for our friends to be allowed to join. Now we can be found on our phones and at our laptops typing up slogans, sharing articles and updating our profiles to spread around meaningful propaganda. Beginning as peer-to-peer communication, our voices can echo across multitudes of digital platforms. Think about how the internet practically became one large rainbow last June when gay marriage was legalized. How about the {useful} political memes and charts circulating now regarding the upcoming presidential election? Or all those gender role-crushing articles? These are just a couple ways we are using our digital activists rights.

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4 thoughts on “My Virtual Picketsign

  1. Mary Anne,
    I agree it is nice to be able to speak our minds on the internet. And it is way easier for a lot of people today to join groups and speak out because they know they can hide behind their screen. It seems like in today’s society people no longer have the guts to say things to other people’s faces. Instead they would rather hide behind a computer or phone screen which really bothers me but. I think it is a good thing to be able to speak our minds, that’s the benefit of having the freedom of speech. But i feel that it needs to be done with courtesy and respect and we need to instill that into our students.
    Skyler

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  2. The Internet makes activism so much simpler and, most importantly, more effective than ever. I love how you point out that 50-60 years ago things were way different. Then, protest and activists only reached a few people. Now, we can reach millions of people while laying in our beds typing on a computer screen. It’s crazy how much time can change things. As always, I love your posts. 🙂 I especially like the comment about the note.. Personal experience? 😉 Great job, Mary Anne!

    Like

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