I’ve never been one to really participate in Digital Activism. Sure, I’ve liked posts that related to things I support, but I’ve never initiated it. There are, however, some teens out there who are really taking this digital activism thing to a whole new level.
For instance, a girl named Gabby Frost started a Twitter handle called the Buddy Project. She was noticing how many people on Twitter were struggling because they simply didn’t have anyone to talk to. Here’s how it works (really pretty simple): you submit your request form, Gabby pairs you with a buddy, and bam! Instant buddy to chat with about your struggles. I would have to say that she has been pretty successful in her digital activism. As of October 14th, 2016, over 148,000 people have been paired with a buddy. I would say that is incredibly effective for a simple Twitter account. She has said, however, that one of the biggest issues they have is that one buddy is not getting enough communication from the other.
I truly think that digital activism is a great way for teens to get involved in making a difference. One of the most important things to remember when being a digital activist is that you need to maintain good digital citizenship. My boys have gone through elementary school learning 3 basic rules: Be responsible, be respectful, and be safe. I think this also applies to being a digital activist, as well as any digital activism you may come across. Just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong.
As I stated earlier, I’ve never really done any digital activism work. It’s not that I don’t believe in it, I just think there are other things to consider. In one of the articles I read, The New Face of Teen Activism, several of the women who identified as digital activists have received rape and death threats. Not that I think that this would happen to me, but I would rather not take the risk. I understand that most threats are just that, I would rather be safe than sorry. I have a wife and 3 kids that I am responsible for, and with everything else we have to worry about in the world today, I would like to not have to worry about potential death threats from a post I made online.
Even though I don’t plan on participating in digital activism anytime soon, I do admire those teens who have used the digital world to promote awareness for issues and be a voice to those who aren’t heard.