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The Social Media Effect: It’s Role in Social Change and Social Responsibility


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After a weekend of posting, commenting on and contributing to some amazing discussions on social media as I rested my weary body and mind from business I was compelled to write this post. I have written on this topic before, in fact lots of times over the past few years, I could see it coming, the power coming back into ‘the people’s’ hands away from the governments and the corporations who have dictated our lives for so many years.

The answer is so simple, give people the power to communicate and we, each one of us, will collaborate to change our world!

The internet is amazing, I recognised early on that it would be a force for learning and connecting within our lives, but even I had no idea it would be this huge and happen so quickly.

Social  Media allows those of ‘like mind’ to band together no matter how far apart they are in distance, and create a collaborative effort to create social change – WOW!

Think about this and think about the reality that there is no going back, now that technology has changed us, we will not go back and we can now be heard all over the world. This has been so amply demonstrated in the recent Egyptian crisis where they tried to shut down the internet, they tried to dampen the effect of the people to communicate and share their plans, it didn’t work.

Now everyone is tied together by the internet governments and businesses have to be more transparent, we ‘the people’ demand to know just who we are dealing with and if we don’t like you, or agree with you, we won’t purchase, vote or listen to you.

We don’t have to feel helpless to change things any more, now we can share our feelings and thoughts on any subject, freely and openly. We might not be able to change things from where we are, we can however show our support, we can make statements of disgust where they can be seen by those who would suppress the truth, we can speak the truth as we see it openly and garner support for a different way of thinking and believing.

Just two posts on my wall from this weekend prove this point in a more subtle way than the Egyptian crisis, and more thoroughly prove my point that change starts with us.

The first one started with my sharing of a video that absolutely spoke to my heart and my passion for changing the way we think about our connection to our home – Earth and to all of it’s inhabitants, you can see the entire post here WE ARE ALL ONE!

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The second one was a statement I made about my very clear feelings on nationalism and patriotism, after seeing a post on Facebook urging everyone to get behind their countries flag and show their patriotism. The whole thread can be seen here NATIONALISM AND PATRIOTISM

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I remember having this debate 5 years ago when the school I was working at was told they had to raise the flag on a pole every day. It was a Montessori school and we didn’t believe had never had to show a flag before, there was a huge debate about all this at that time and it was decided that we had to follow the rules of the education department, BUT that we would raise other flags as well. We had 5 flag poles put in and every day we raised 4 different flags of all kinds and countries along with the Australian Flag and we also hung Tibetan prayer flags all over the school. A gentle protest but we made it.

Social Media has not only become a way to market a product or share our lives with our online friends, it has become a medium for change, a way for us to connect and collaborate, to talk about what is happening and prevent misuse of power being swept under the rug. It is impossible for us to now shut off the rest of the world, more and more we are understanding our connection across the world, that those people so far away are now our Facebook friends and our Twitter followers and we are interacting with them, now when something happens ‘over there’ it is right there for us to see and to hear and we will all stand up for our friends won’t we?

What technology has changed:

  • Mobile phones, the web and social media are tools that can be used for conversations about beliefs,  and rapid collaboration and coordination of plans and actions – not just for ‘Raves’ but for social change rallies etc..
  • Those with the tools can now use them to re-adjust the balance of power anywhere via their online voice and rapid deployment of collaborative efforts.
  • Social Media strengthens social ties, adjusts social thinking an empowers ‘the people’ to readjust and recalibrate their ideas about the world.
  • The world wide web helps to distribute and centralise leadership, we no longer need one powerful charismatic leader, we are now ‘the people’ and we have a way to speak in one very loud voice.
  • Most, but not all governments and influential corporations are clueless about the power of social media and how it can be used. However even when they understand ‘the social media effect’ these governments and organisations cannot shut it down as they too rely on the internet and would essentially be opting out of the world stage.
  • Social Media as a whole bears witness to the crimes of governments and corporations who put power and profit above those of the people. Many of us are ready to stand up every time we see injustice and say, “We’re not going to take it any more!”

It’s important to understand that it’s not social media that is changing everything really, it is the connection that social media allows us, the conversations that are created and the determination of us all to be the voice of ‘the people’ and stand up for social change and social responsibility that is changing everything. Social Media and technology is just the medium for everything else that is happening.

Biz Stone (Twitter founder) put the power of social media rather succinctly:

“To just to address this ridiculous non-argument, Gladwell said sending out a tweet is not the same as the entire civil rights movement of the 1960s,” Stone said. “Yea, right, no shit. … No one ever said that. … What we’re saying is no matter what the situation, you need to communicate with others to do activism and have your voice be heard, whether it’s telephones during the fall of the Berlin Wall or social media in the Middle East.”

Social Media, the internet and Smart phone technology is making a communication system that is creating worldwide connections, and as I see it a way of achieving one of my dreams – to educate the whole world that what they’ve been taught about life isn’t necessarily so and by that very fact they can now choose to act differently. We can now create amazing conversations, find support for our beliefs and our souls, be educated about a wider variety of perspectives, learn about anything at all, find new friends, mentor others, share and create positive social change from our chairs. Each one of us is now able to stand up and make change happen, yes I mean you.

What a world we live in!


annierobinson :











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