Last night I found myself compelled to sign a petition to the government relating to the Syrian refugee crisis and today I read on the BBC news site that the government have had to rethink their stance on refugee numbers being allowed into the UK due to this very petition, and the fact it is three times the required size for government to have to address. I found the link to the petition on Facebook.
This got me thinking about the power of social media and how it has changed forever not only the ability to have a voice but also the sheer speed of getting things done! I wondered how long it might of taken in ye olden days, i.e. pre-internet and pre-social media to get this kind of public response together and delivered to the powers that be.. certainly much longer no doubt..what with the horse and cart trip to London to hand deliver etc.
Considering the media coverage across all mediums the noise created about this particular atrocity has made it very hard to ignore or avoid and as human beings we feel compelled to do something however small to share our opinion and have our voice heard. Obviously not all causes will grab people’s attention and some will drift off quietly with little effect.
I also recall several times in the last year where people have used this social media power to help find lost children and adults and was interested to see in January this year that Facebook committed to the Amber Alert Project where they share missing children alerts with users. Reports are that this has resulted in many successful recoveries of children. Twitter are not to be forgotten here either and they have also agreed to support this project across their network @AmberAlertEU if you want to follow.
People power has always been a thing, but the modern peoples social media power is just fascinating, the speed and reach that messages can be shared and actions encouraged is incredible. Our social landscape has certainly had to change and adapt to our digital demands in the last decade and now its all going to have to happen faster because that’s just how we roll/spin these days.