Week 6: Social Media for Social Change
When looking through course outline for this subject, when I reached Week 6 and saw the topic ‘Social Media for Social Change’ I instantly knew what and whom I was going to write about. It surprised me a bit because when you are so sure of something you would think you know the topic back to front. You would probably thing I was going to write about my best friend, my mother, a cousin, however this was not the case. When I read the words social change, the person that instantly popped into my mind was a boy called Michael whom I went to high school. He has recently published an article, titled ‘The F-Word’. The link to the piece is included below and I highly recommend that you read it if you get the chance because it is honestly one of the most emotional, moving and inspiration pieces I have ever read.
Michael and I were at high school for 6 year together. We were in separate friendship groups but occasionally have a class or two together. From my experiences at school with him, my impression of Michael in one sentence would have been: a caring, happy and loyal friend. However because I never really had too much to do with Michael, my knowledge of him and his life contained no real depth or detail. When I read his article, 3 years after finishing school, I was literally blown away and hit with ten different kinds of emotion. Number one, truly amazed at his talent – I never knew he had such an amazing writing ability. Two, proud – even though I wasn’t best friends with him, I felt really privileged to know someone with such courage and bravery. Three, sad – to think that I didn’t realize and recognise the pain and hurt that he was going through during a time when I spent 5 days a week in the same environment as me. Four, disappointed – in myself, for not doing anything to help. Five, angry – at the prick he mentions in the article. Six, happy – to find out that a friend is in such a good place in life and achieving so much. Seven, excited – to hear about him in the future and witness the great things he will accomplish. Eight, enlightened – on the topic of homosexuality and how it can make people feel. Nine, lucky – I felt like Michael had let me in to read about something so intimate and personal. And ten, inspired – after reading this, I really began to think about my life and my career and how I was going to make my mark on the world like Michael had already done.
Which brings me back to the topic of social media for social change. I find it astounding how me reading this one article can instantly change the relationship I have with someone. Without even seeing Michael, via the platform of the blogosphere, he changed my life, my perspectives, my emotions, my thoughts, my aspirations, and my relationship with him and with other people. Michael’s blog provides a clear-cut answer for why people should blog. I’m certain that the impact his writing has had is one that greatly advances the campaign of social media for social change amongst a large number of people of the topic of homosexuality. Whilst the blogosphere is criticised for its inability to control the ‘white-noise’ that continues to clog the platform, after reading the ‘F-word’ I viewed the blogging world differently. Whilst white noise is a pain, I felt I’d be quite happy to put up with it if I meant I had access to pieces like those that Michael had produced. Those piece that are able to captivate you, make you think, make you feel and make you change, make the hours of sorting through blog spam all the worthwhile.