By Andrew Howard ’17
Information spreads more easily and quickly online
There are many ways to spread awareness on important issues, but few are as efficient as the Internet.
Online activism has the ability to change the world in only a matter of minutes.
The convenience of online activism is what makes it appealing to many people.
The ability to reach people by simply clicking a button is much easier than having to send out mail or go door to door.
As of June 2014, 1.3 billion users are on Facebook, according to the website, giving them the ability to spread awareness from anywhere, even from their smart phones.
Overall this demonstrates that online activism is a good thing: It can bring awareness to topics that had never been discussed previously and turn it into world news in a couple of clicks and “likes.”
For example, due to the “Ice Bucket Challenge” the ALS foundation raised $100.9 million in 30 days, compared to the $2.8 million they raised during that same amount of time the previous year, according to their website.
Many would say that online activism doesn’t really help people understand what they are giving to, or that people do it just for their own attention.
But if they are still donating or attracting attention to the organization, does it really matter?
Kony 2012 was one of the more recent events that spread awareness in only a few days, and even if people had no idea who Kony was, they still went out with their friends to show their support.
During the Kony 2012 campaign, from March 5-12 an astounding 66 percent of tweets supported the anti-Kony project, according to The Guardian.
Twitter has 232 million users who are “active,” meaning they tweet on a monthly basis, according to Business Insider.
That means approximately 153 million people tweeted about Kony in only a week.
It would be nice if every person who took part in online activism knew what they were talking about. But even if they don’t, what they say can still be important to spreading awareness.
I’m sure the ALS foundation would love it if all $100 million they made came from people who knew exactly what they were donating to, but in the end it’s still $100 million.
So whether you covered the night for Kony or dumped some ice on your head for ALS, what matters is that you did it for a good cause, and made other people aware of it in the process.