Like many of my fellow classmates here, I too acknowledge that I am a digital native. I have a difficult time thinking about what I did with my time when I was younger, you know, the pre-internet days. My memories only go as far back to when we had dial-up in our house. I remember my mom telling me to stop using the computer so that she could make a call. Good times, right?
I thought this week’s article was especially interesting. As an avid social media user, I constantly see social good campaigns online. Use this hashtag or do this dare and donate. The internet has become a place for social awareness for today’s youth. It’s difficult to get the word out without the internet, in my opinion. As mentioned by authors Shah and Abraham in Digital Natives With A Cause?, “…Digital Natives no longer want to be ‘subjects’ of inquiry and research. With an aesthetic of playfulness, irreverence, and a collation of the terrains of the cultural and the political, Digital Natives have often demonstrated their new aesthetics of political participation, cultural consumption and social transformation.” I do believe that digital natives use the internet as a way to promote social good. And though I agree that slacktivism exists, I think the power that the internet has brought us has truly sparked more political or social involvement awareness.
One of the most recent and interesting campaigns I have seen is the #HeforShe campaign by UN Women. They called for men to participate and proclaim their support for gender equality. But I believe that the most important part of this campaign, is actress Emma Watson’s speech back in September. She became the face for this campaign, and I believe it is her influence that made the video of her speech be viewed more than 1 million times. It’s what news publications were sharing all over the internet. Because she is a young woman with influence, it inspired other young people all over the world to care. Thanks to the internet, it helped get her message out. I can’t even begin to explain how many times I saw her video and young people supporting her message online. Emma gave another speech that told about the success of the campaign after her speech in September. It just shows that it isn’t uncommon for digital natives to make some difference online.