Social Activism in the Digital Age

Does the digital-age have the power to bring about world peace? Technology’s social impact has never been greater.  Viral marketing campaigns trigger action within seconds among people around the globe.

According to the Aspen Institute, “Mobile media technologies provide new tools for journalists, government and nonprofit agencies, civic organizers, elected officials, activists and ordinary citizens to inform, to reach out to others and to galvanize community action on a wide range of issues.”

According to, In Kenya 25 million people have mobile phones and medical apps disseminate essential information about health.  In addition, the article states that SMS-based alerts are helping 10,000 people in Johannesburg infected with HIV, resulting in big declines in missed appointments.

Digital technology is not only affecting the way we disseminate information about health but can be a powerful catalyst for stimulating digital activism. KONO 2012, a YouTube video campaign “by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.”  The digital video campaign which can be assessed using most mobile devices is spreading rapidly through the use of SMS and text message alerts and YouTube mobile apps, has grossed over 1 million views.

During the 2008 Presidential Election, President Barack Obama was particularly noted for his use of the Internet and social media.  Chris Hughes was responsible for organizing  the first ever historically successful  online presidential campaign. Chris is the Executive Director of Jumo, which he founded in 2010. Jumo a social network service and website launched on November 30, 2010, to help charities gain visibility and fundraise.  Thus far, social networking has exhibited the proven ability to mobilize and effectively garner civic engagement and activism.

The New York Times recently released its mobile app for Election 2012 for iPhone and android device users. The app allows users to stay-up with election coverage, share opinions, Check poll numbers, candidate updates, and watch videos and view slide shows from photographers and reporters on the campaign trail.

Digital media devices are now placing power in the palm of your hand to influence and stimulate change on the global social economic front. “We are only now beginning to appreciate the potential impact that the rise of the Mobile Generation, young people currently coming of age in a mobile-enabled world, will have on cultural discourse and on our civic interactions.” The social media and digital phenomenon has many thinking about what’s to come in our modern media evolution.

Influencing change amongst the global populous is now easier than ever.  Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are only sheer predecessors of greater things to come.  Media convergence allows everyone to use their voice and become empowered by the masses.  It will be interesting to see what social developments continue to stem forth from digital age, perhaps we will discover that the world is filled with talented people. Just imagine all the good that can be done if we all just come together, amongst other things, digital media gives us the tools for making that happen.

Hannah Molette


  1. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work.

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