Story by Valentina Garcia, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of The Next Web
My morning routine consists of being thankful for another day and checking my Twitter app. It’s the second thing I do on my phone most days (the first being turning off my alarm). I have replaced watching the morning news with checking Twitter, and it’s turned out pretty well.
Thanks to the help of hashtags, we can become informed on global happenings instantly. Local news stays local, which is fine (that is their mission, after all), but when it comes to their covering important, global stories, their coverage is devastatingly short. Even news chains whose mission is to inform of global and national news lack in their reporting. It is constantly pointed out on social media how news outlets and people only pay attention to the stories they feel like telling. For example, the coverage the Paris attacks received can be drastically compared to the coverage the Pakistan bombing (which recently took place on Easter) received. Hashtags like #PrayForTheWorld and #PrayFor(insert name of place that’s been attacked) surface when an attack takes place, reminding everyone that these atrocities happen more often than the news usually informs us of, and in places whose circumstances we tend to ignore.
Hashtags have started to do even more than inform; they’ve brought action.
When the Paris attacks took place, #PorteOuverte helped people stuck outside find safe places opening their doors to them. With a click on a hashtag, people who did not know where to go could find safety. Seeing the hashtag grow from a distance helped me capture the seriousness of the situation, and also made me feel involved, although so far away.
#BlackLivesMatter began on social media and transcended it. I believe this, what once started as a social media campaign, has opened the eyes of many to viewing and noticing the racism in America today. #BlackLivesMatter inspired and continues to inspire many when developing conversations on the topic of racism. This has happened so much so that presidential candidate nominees are asked if they identify with All Lives Matter (the counter-campaign) or Black Lives Matter. This social media movement has inspired songs and art in so many ways, it started on social media but has gone so much farther.
#LikeAGirl is a brilliant social media campaign started by the brand Always. It centers on turning the phrase “like a girl,” used popularly as an insult, into a compliment. They made small YouTube videos that aired as ads before watching videos. I’ve never been able to skip one of them.
#FeelTheBern is a very important social media campaign. This is the social media campaign for presidential candidate nominee Bernie Sanders’. Sanders did not seem to be payed a lot of attention on the news, and this campaign helped fix that. His supporters feel the bern and spread it with others on social media.
With the help of social media campaigns, news and movements have spread like never before. With the help of these campaigns, people can speak up easily when it comes to what bothers them. Social media campaigns are bringing people closer together. These people aren’t just tweeting, they have the potential to make change.
About the Writer…
Valentina Garcia is a first year student who loves sunny days, Jane Austen, and preferred tea to coffee until she started college.