Social media: a tool for social transformation
Nowadays the use of technological tools streamline our communication in everyday life. You can send a message to millions of people, faster and easier than ever before in human history. Moreover, it also gives us the chance to track news, trends, movements and important events around the world at any time. We spend lots of time on the Internet and social media has become a huge part of our culture. We’re seeing the first generation of “digital natives”. They’re experiencing more of their lives online than any generation before them; and this trend will continue. More and more people will have access to internet, use social media and have smartphones.
Social media is a land of new opportunities. It is a tool for transformation, and social movements can begin as fast as lighting. A very powerful example is the #MeToo movement. Its impact crossed borders and oceans. #MeToo is about raising awareness of the prevalence and destructive impact of sexual violence and harassment. It is about survivors, courage, and stories of anger, pain, and frustration. Nevertheless, sharing these stories gave people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. It raised awareness. Having the courage to denounce an aggressor by name is definitively a step forward. However, it is not enough. This movement did not end in merely denouncing acts of violence. It is encouraging political actions.
Sexual violence and harassment should be pursued and punished. Justice should be served with a gender perspective that protects women and ensures impartiality. Legal mechanisms must be put in place so that women can confidently report gender violence, knowing that the system will respond and support them.
Social movements inspire collective and transformative action. Social networks have added another dimension which is popular and accessible. It is an efficient way to make a problem visible and to raise awareness about important causes. More than a hashtag, #MeToo was a shout of desperation.
Let’s continue breaking the silence. Change is also in our ability to raise our voices, stand up for our rights, question critically, protest injustice, overcome apathy, defy the accepted norm, and resolutely stand against any act of violence, abuse, or discrimination.
I stand with all the women that have had the courage to denounce their aggressors, but also with those that have remained silent out of fear and resignation. The voice of one is the voice of all. We are not alone.