We can write for years about the potential of social media but every do often along comes an example which demonstrates the power and ability social media has.
We all know social media has changed modern communications. When my parents were at university they used a phone box and letters to speak to their parents. I send texts, Facebook messages and Skype my parents. I do not often read actual newspapers (should a PR student admit to this?), I get my news online, from Twitter links, newspaper website, news agencies, blogs, Facebook. Our lives have been changed by the internet.
I think social media has a lot of power, much of which we have yet to recognise and release. It relates to our need as humans to connect and helps pull down barriers caused by modern life and far away families and friends.
Last night #Kony2012 took over my Twitter feed. I had no idea what it was, where it came from, who was behind it. I had heard of child soldiers, but never of Kony, and I do not think I ever understood the reality of the situation. I am not alone, most people do not know who Kony is, what he does and who he does it to. That is the point of #Kony2012. A campaign designed to educate us about this situation and help us change it.
It took over Twitter. It took over Facebook. It took over Youtube. It took over blogs. Its popularity was such that its website crashed!
The campaign appeals to human behaviour and motivations. As a species, despite all our faults, morally we cannot accept injustice and harm to people. We want to change it and give everyone the chance of a great life. The campaign video hits people where it hurts, it is emotive, shocking and inspiring.
Let us hope that #Kony2012 does not disappear overnight like so many previous trending topics, but that the campaign’s goals are realised. That will show us the real power of social media.
Want to find out more about the campaign? Visit the website, Kony 2012.
- The visible problem with invisible children (ilto.wordpress.com)
- Kony 2012 (annanajuice.wordpress.com)
- Invisible Children (firstheretheneverywhere.wordpress.com)
- U.S. troops stationed in Africa to help fight brutal rebels (seattletimes.nwsource.com)