Did you know that 43% of the world’s population is age 25 or younger? I, for one, had no idea; yet, pleasantly surprised to find out that this means my generation will be the change-makers; we hold the power. Change is coming and on our accord. Today, 70% of young people believe social media is a platform for change.
Yesterday, in the midst of honoring Dr. King’s Legacy, I was honored to have dinner with Dr. Angela Davis. Engaging in meaningful conversation – I proposed the following question: “Dr. Davis, as you know, our generation is very much so involved and present on social media networks. Often, my generation uses these networks as a platform to begin social movements and mobilize the community. What are your thoughts on this new emerging era of young people?”
While I failed to record direct quotations from her remarks, I can inform you on some, I’m sure of many, of her viewpoints. She began by acknowledging and applauding the hard work of young people today and expounded on how it is the duty of our generation to make a stamp in history, as we know it. She did however differentiate between her belief that social media is a platform to mobilize, not to organize, social justice efforts.
Post-dinner and the wonderful lecture she gave on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, I decided to look up the definitions of mobilization and organization. Mobilization is to put into movement and/or circulation. Organization is defined as gathering an organized body of people for a common purpose, action, etc. It was after looking up these definitions, that I was re-affirmed of my belief that contrary to Dr. Davis, I believe social media not only mobilizes communities but also organizes them.
When I consider the many protest people went to in 2014, it is evident that the primary source of information regarding these gatherings stemmed from social media networks such as twitter. I, myself, went to a vigil the day of the releasing of the Mike Brown Verdict. Students from all over UNC tweeted to mobilize the conversation, which led into the organization of a vigil.
While I am more than grateful for the works of Dr. Angela Davis and her courage to stand up for my future, I must take the opposing stance in regards to the power of social media in the digital age. My generation has been on-line since we were ten years of age, we’re practically pros at mobilizing and organizing from the comfort of our dorm rooms.
For the inspiration for this post, check out: http://blogs.worldbank.org/youthink/social-media-and-social-change-how-young-people-are-tapping-technology