Social Media & Activism Can They Hold Hands?

I am left with more questions than answers when it comes to effectiveness and then I also feel very anxious regarding sharing of radical activism.

I think it’s fair to say that social media can take any issue and ignite it in positive and/or negative way

s. Platform such as Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook have the ability to share information very quickly across the globe to generate awareness but I still question if reposting/retweeting without reading or understanding what the issue is, isn’t doing as much justice as intended. I also am left questioning myself prior to reposting is, is this information correct or is it filled with misinformation; am I getting the right information to share?

Some other issues I see is how is the intention of the post being changed to fit a different narrative? Prime example was given in class with the ALS ice bucket challenge and how the narrative changed so quickly and the actual cause was diluted.

I read a few articles this week to help me understand how social media activism could be seen as a good thing:

Social Media Activism in 2023: How to Go Beyond the Hashtag

I really liked that this article stated that “Social media activism must be accompanied by real world action.” which spoke to how I am feeling about this topic this week. To share a post may make a difference but it needs more; there has to be an action to follow along with it, otherwise I struggle to see the point beyond awareness.

This article also provided some authentic tips on how to use social media to support a cause:

  1. Pause and Review your social calendar- take a moment to decide if you can really commit to the cause you are engaging with
  2. Listen- emotions will be running high, using social listening to understand the audience will allow for more empathy & solidarity
  3. Be honest and transparent- before posting take a inward look at yourself to reflect of your history and your culture
  4. Be human- just be authentic
  5. Make your stance clear and consistent-
  6. Share how you are taking action- show what you are doing beyond sharing a post
  7. Plan for good and bad responses- not everyone will agree and with social activism you are trying to break a status quo
  8. Diversify and represent- Do not use social media activism as a way to just check off a box once. Your should represent it on a continuous basis
  9. Keep going- The work doesn’t stop after the hashtags stop being popular. Commit to long term goals.

A Guide to Activism in the Digital Age

This article showed how social media could promote social justice

  • Coordinating community responses
  • Platforming lived experiences
  • Promoting & planning events
  • Sharing pictures & videos
  • Signal boosting
  • Utilize the college population


This video shares both my reservations about social media activism and the great opportunities it can offer to causes:

  • Everyday people who care about an issue can get together and make change
  • Every post you make shows who you are and what you stand for
  • Social media has been at the forefront in many movements around the world
  • Social media has revolutionized activism
  • It is now cool to go to marches and then post pictures of it
  • Many people will tweet a hashtag, share a video, and then continue with their lives without actually engaging in real change but hashtags are not truly helping. If it doesn’t create awareness that leads to action off the internet then it is useless.

Sophie Eadgar suggestions for tying the 2 together:

  1.  identify an issue
  2.  inform yourself about it (look at both sides)
  3.  vote- see what politicians support the same issues
  4. set ambitious and realistic goals about what you really want to see
  5. volunteer your time- it is not a weekend plan it requires long term commitment

So now what does this mean for me and modeling for my students?

After class I decided I would take a dive into social media activism that is a topic near and dear to my heart and this happens to be based around social media itself and its effects on teens specifically teenage girls. So this week I have been primarily retweeting and researching the connection between the two. My daughter currently struggles with her mental health and she has shared with me on more then one occasion why can’t she look like girls that she sees on her social media apps; I have found her trying to pose, trying to dress, do her make up & hair, to match these unrealistic pictures and there is so, so, so much more; it is heartbreaking. Now if my daughter is going through something like this and it is already an issue, I can foresee it being something my students may struggle with and this is why I do believe policy change will be necessary.

Common Sense shared this article:

Teens and Mental Health: How Girls Really Feel About Social Media

and this is one of the fact sheets about TikTok howdogirlsreallyfeelabouttiktok_v2-_0

So at this point I will focus on the sharing & researching pieces of the activism on this particular topic to generate awareness. My hope is that one day there will be policy changes made to social media that is supportive of teens mental health and not detrimental.


I want to send you away with an intriguing task. I want you to research TikTok (which is made in China) and how it is different then in the U.S. & Canada. Then ask yourself why & share with me your thoughts . See this article below:,a%20sister%20app%20called%20Douyin.


One thought on “Social Media & Activism Can They Hold Hands?

  1. Thank you so much for sharing that article, Christine! I’m saving it for my health class next year! The year before Covid, my mom went on a 3-week tour to China and was amazed at all of the stuff she couldn’t access on her device, Facebook, Instagram chat, and even WhatsApp was monitored and controlled; she couldn’t contact any of us unless she called or sent a quick text once a day to my dad. She said it was mindblowing what locals told her and showed her about technology there and that information aligns with the article you shared. She said they have their own versions of all the same apps we have but they are highly regulated.
    I also see the same mental health/body image issues in boys and girls due to social media. I’m currently trying the BeReal App and love that it counters the pressures of ‘perfection’ in the rest of the social media world.
    I guess I’ve never thought about how my teaching about social media affects teens as a form of my activism but it is something I feel strongly about and focus on all year long in a multitude of ways. I also use it to promote self-care and we explore/practice ways of self-care in class too. We try meditation, deep breathing, journaling, listening to music, etc. Students find which ones work best for them and I hope that it makes a difference.
    Thank you so much for sharing this!

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