#Activism & #LinkUpTheLove | Pennies & Paper: #Activism & #LinkUpTheLove

    

#Activism & #LinkUpTheLove

Tuesday, July 29

#Activism & Link Up the Love | Pennies & Paper Blog
Photo by me. © Pennies & Paper Blog

For a little while they were everywhere. All over our Twitter feeds especially, but also Instagram, and Facebook, and then in the news articles about them. Hashtags, ones that had a social and political messages, briefly took over the internet, as viral things do by definition. #BringBackOurGirls. #YesAllWomen. Even, years ago now, #Kony2012.

I have very mixed feelings about this "Hashtag Activism." On the one hand, I cannot look down on anything that informs an ignorant public or supports the finding of a solution. On the other, using hashtags, however widespread and popular, is necessarily distanced from the issue it discusses.

The case of #Kony2012 is probably the best example of the negatives. I distinctly remember my emotions when I came across that particular story, how I was enraged and worked up and wanting to do something about it. So I read articles and read Tweets. But I quickly forgot about it, especially in the light of the controversies around the founder.

Jump to 2014, and a similar thing happened. I, of course, would love to do anything to rescue the poor girls and women in Nigeria. And the grieving, worried families with no control were undoubtedly more desperate to do anything to help. But it died down quickly, as did #YesAllWomen (which  I wholeheartedly participated in). Hashtags are viral, and viral does not equate lasting.

Still, how much can we really do? I personally don't know how to change policies or incite a government to action. Maybe, the best I can do is return to Twitter and read the remnant characters of these "movements."

What do you think of Hashtag Activism? Check out the Wikipedia page here, or read different viewpoints here, here, here, or here.

#Activism & Link Up the Love | Pennies & Paper Blog

I have a handful of positive thoughts to send out this week!

My Weekly Love

For Monique: Thanks for helping me clean out my closet, and also deal with my endless texts about which clothes to buy or wear.

For the creators of the Sowa Market: Thank you thank you thank you for founding such a wonderful weekend event. I want to go every Sunday and stay all day!

For that one vendor at Sowa this past Sunday: Thank you for saying you loved my hair. I know you were probably just trying to get me to buy that pleated skirt (and I very nearly did!) but in any case I appreciate you taking the time to acknowledge a like-headed person--your curls were very nice as well :)

For Francesca: You drive us into Boston, use your father's parking space so we can gorge ourselves in the North End, and give me back massages whenever I ask even though I'm very annoying about it <3

For Amanda: That mid-day coffee yesterday was just what I needed. Mondays at camp are hard and I was crashing fast--coffee saved the journalism club I was leading from becoming a total mess!

For my campers: First off, you let me be crazy. Second, yesterday everyone noticed I had makeup on, though the only reason for that was being too lazy to fight with remover-resistent liner. Even if the comments weren't always positive (case in point: "Miss Julia, you look scary"), I'm flattered to realize you guys pay enough attention to me to spot such a subtle difference and to care about it.
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7 comments:

  1. I agree with you on the hashtags but I think the best anyone can do is spread awareness when you're limited to do something else - plus politics is so challenging. I know people who sign petitions or attend lobby days too - that's also a good way to do something you care about. Also, I LOVE SOWA. So sad to be moving far away from it.

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  2. I think social media is really powerful, especially hashtags (though one of my pet peeves is when people #use #a #billion #in #every #tweet). I'm all for spreading the word about world events, because people don't really read newspapers anymore, and many people rely on the internet to get the latest going-ons. Twitter campaigns don't necessarily do anything to help, but it does certainly help keep the news flowing to uninformed people.

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  3. Hashtags can be helpful in getting the world out when it's used right. Though, I can definitely see how they can also be harmful. Social media will always be a slippery slope.

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  4. I agree that hashtags are useful and they have been getting a lot of use now given everything going on the middle east but I don't think they are the only thing people should focus on. I think sometimes they make a big statement and that can be a good and bad thing.

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  5. social media are what we call "Arma de dos filos", it can be extremely good but at the same time extremely bad. some hasthags help spread awareness, and that is a way of helping the cause. My boyfriend once told me "there are different kind of people, those who go to manifestation and scream, others that encourage people and others that write articles about it. all of them help, all of them do their part"
    xo
    Orly
    http://coffeebeansandhighheels.weebly.com/randomness

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  6. I too have very mixed feelings on hashtag activism (you should also look up 'slacktivism' if you haven't already, may be of interest to you). I get encouraged, and discouraged all at the same time, yet, I must agree, anything that brings about awareness is at least a little bit good. One thing that happened in Columbus recently though that restored my faith in 'Hashtag Activism' was a local music festival had originally book R. Kelly as the headliner for the tour - after MUCH backlash via social media, they reconsidered. So I guess it has it's place? Probably a good lesson that many things aren't entirely bad or entirely good, gotta look for the gray :) Thanks for linking up as always, I love reading your bright and positive little notes to others!
    Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

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  7. I like your thoughts on this. I feel like using hashtags is a great way to build community and closeness but in reality it doesn't really help the cause in my eyes. There are some things we can really help with and some things that we need to rely on others to fix -- I think using a hashtag is a great way to show support but again there is only so much we can actually do.

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Thank you for your comment--they are the highlight of my day :)

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