There is no doubt that the internet and social media are powerful tools. It is also important to remember that the internet and social media (in particular) are relatively new. While some people are finding fame and fortune within the confines of blogs and videos, others are still struggling to figure out exactly how social media can be used effectively. Now, more than ever it seems, people have become especially vocal about their beliefs, which is a good thing. Now more than ever before people can share information, provide insightful commentary, and bring light to many issues facing today’s people. But what happens to those who don’t choose to share their opinions as much as others? Is the idea that we should all scream our opinions out into the void to raise awareness or should we start putting our money where our mouth is? It is important to both speak out against issues and act on those beliefs.
One of the most recent examples of this was the vocality of many people choosing to stand with Ke$ha over her dispute with Dr. Luke and Sony. Swift’s PR team announced she would be donating money to Ke$ha. Taylor, herself, mentioned nothing about the case. Demi Lovato took issue with this move and called Taylor Swift out for only donating money and not speaking out against Sony, Dr. Luke, or sexual assault.
This is one of the few instances where you will see me agreeing (I don’t know if you can call it agreeing since Taylor never said anything about anything) with Ms. Swift. I think that we need to stop just talking (to a certain extent) and start acting.
This is not to say that vocal advocacy isn’t important or affective, quite the contrary. It’s incredibly important – I’m doing it right now. I just don’t believe everyone has to make a declarative statement on every issue. If someone doesn’t want to speak on something and decides instead, to donate, whether that be money or time, that should be enough.
Often, I feel like the internet is just another one of the many club meetings that I would attend in high school in order to plan various activities on campus. We would plan on accomplishing something, but somehow, would always end up arguing over how to accomplish our goals. One person would think this is the best way, another person would say something different. This would go on for what felt like hours. We would argue with each other about courses of action until eventually, we would all end up saying the same thing. And yet, the volume didn’t go down. People would yell out pointed statements at each other when everyone whole-heartedly agreed. Eventually we would run out of time, having neither planned nor accomplished any of our goals. At what point do we agree that not everyone has to go around in a circle using different words to say the same thing?
I don’t need Taylor Swift to say she stands with Ke$ha. I don’t need Beyonce to say #BlackLivesMatter. Their actions did that for them .
In no way am I trying to say everyone should leave their homes to spend hours helping the causes they believe in. I understand not everyone is able to and getting the word out for an issue is also a great thing to do. But, I am wondering why we attack those who don’t speak up, but just show their support through action. Both are needed to accomplish a goal. We say education is the best tool, but it is exactly that, a tool to make the change we need. We need both to accomplish our goals.