Social activism has had many different faces over the years, decades, and centuries. Picket signs, rallies, marches, pamphlets, and now Facebook posts, blogs, and pictures on various sharing websites such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, deviantART, YouTube, and whatever other sites are out there. With the Supreme Court’s recent hearing of oral arguments for California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, lots of people on Facebook, including the majority of my friends, either changed their profile picture to something like this picture: or posted about how they didn’t support repealing either one, or posted about how they didn’t believe in gay marriage but the government shouldn’t have control over anyone’s lives.
I don’t know how much good protests like that do, but it is rather interesting to see how many people support certain things, and it’s quite nice to know what people’s opinions are. I personally don’t share many of my opinions on Facebook because I don’t want to risk alienating certain people (especially those that I need to like me at least for a little while, such as friends XD) but when there are movements on Facebook that I see and support, and that I see a lot of my friends support, I feel a bit better that I’m not the only person I know who feels a certain. Misery loves company, but so does happiness and interest in particular topics.
Because of this new era of sharing pictures in every way imaginable, and because more and more often text is an integral part of pictures, visual rhetoric is an immense part of the modern way of spreading awareness and social activism. Deciding what picture to use, deciding what text to put on it, deciding where in particular to post that image, deciding who you want it to be visible to (i.e. the public, your friends, certain members of your friends, etc.) is part of the impact and decision-making (and rhetoric) of the way social activism has evolved in social media.
I don’t know how much social activism (if any) I’ll ever do, but if I do find anything interesting, or think of any interesting points about activism or rhetoric in activism and social media, I’ll be sure to share with you. And also if you have any thoughts, please share, and I’d love to post about them.
Read and reblog on!!
(Image from one of my friend’s Facebook profiles, and partially from George Takei’s Facebook.)
(I also found this picture on a stranger’s profile as their profile picture because they commented on a post of a page I like: )