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How Social Media Helps Spread Awareness

Updated: May 3

Social media, a concept that continues to grow year after year, has proven to have more uses than just posting a picture of you at the beach on Instagram. Spreading awareness through it has become far more popular. I personally remember one day in May when I clicked one of my friend’s stories on Instagram and saw a post that explained what happened with George Floyd. It was the first time I had heard about what had occurred and shocked me. In turn, I shared the post on my story, as did several others. This continued on with other tragic and unfair deaths, whose stories were explained in posts shared by thousands and thousands of social media users, spreading the information to others. It was through social media that deaths were brought to attention. It was through social media that the location and time a protest would be occurring was spread. And it was through social media that one could even learn what people’s stances and opinions about what was happening were.

Blackout Tuesday took place on June 2, 2020, with the collective purpose to protest police brutality and racism. It was also largely a response to the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmuad Arbery. While it started as a Music industry protest, it quickly gained attention on social media. Hashtags were spread that could direct one to more information about a certain topic or explanation.

Furthermore, social media helped highlight problems in the world that had not even crossed most people’s lives before. I remember reading different posts I had seen where different acts of racism that targeted certain groups were described. It disturbed me that I had never learned or heard about these occurrences before. That I had not even known about the suffering that was going on. Change.org was a site I had never heard of before 2020, yet the spread of their petitions also played a role in spreading awareness. When there are thousands and thousands of people signing a petition, it is bound to gain more attention. Especially if the signers posted it on their social media, urging more people to sign it as well. A movement needs people, and social media, without a doubt, helped movements gain people who supported them.

- Ashley Lulkin (TeensForChange)

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