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Social Media, Civic Engagement, and Participation in the Digital Age


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Presentation given in Dr. Brady's Social Work Course at Michigan

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Social Media, Civic Engagement, and Participation in the Digital Age

  1. 1. Social Media, Civic Engagement, and Participation in the Digital Age Jimmy Young, Ph.D., MSW Twitter: @Jimmysw Assistant Professor Department of Social work
  2. 2. Overview • • • • • Civic Engagement What is Social Media Participatory Culture and New Media Literacies Activism or Slacktivism Digital Activism
  3. 3. Civic Engagement
  4. 4. Micro Volunteering Extraodinaries Red Cross Digital Volunteering
  5. 5. What is Social Media? • Poll
  6. 6. What is Social Media? • Social Media- “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
  7. 7. What is Social Media
  8. 8. Forms of Participatory Culture • Affiliations – Formal/informal communities • Expressions – Digital Sampling or Videomaking • Collaborative Problem solving – Working in teams to complete tasks • Circulations – Shaping the flow of media
  9. 9. Examples of Participatory Culture 10
  10. 10. New Media Literacies • Media Literacies are competencies that enable people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media forms. • NEW MEDIA LITERACIES- are competencies AND social skills! They build on the foundation of traditional literacy, research skills, etc…taught in the classroom, but shift the focus from one of individual expression to one of community involvement.
  11. 11. Dumb and Lazy
  12. 12. Slacktivist
  13. 13. Activist
  14. 14. Community Participation YouTube= The Machine is Us/ing Us. One Way Communication Controlled by the few Produced for the masses
  15. 15. Digital Activism • E-advocacy- is the use of technologically intensive media to influence stakeholders to effect policy change. • Digital Activism- Electronic media to help with causes or movements.
  16. 16. Benefits -Cost Savings -Small Orgs. Can display more impressive efforts to the public -Efforts can span time and distance more effectively -Potential to reach a greater audience
  17. 17. Effects of the Internet on Advocacy and Activism 1. Changed how people find and use information 2.Enables people to connect with others from virtually anywhere 3.Provides greater Publicity and Interaction
  18. 18. ReThink Participation
  19. 19. Strategies • • • • Think about the mission What do you want to accomplish? Develop REALISTIC goals Think about Authenticity, Transparency, & Accountability
  20. 20. Strategies • HootSuite • Listen • Engage
  21. 21. Strategies • Listen
  22. 22. Strategies • Engage - Creatively
  23. 23. The questions still remain. • • • • Does social media contribute to the success of a cause? When you participate online, does it diminish your civic engagement activities? Are you indeed a slacktivist? How do we move from a Status Update or Tweet to real tangible action? • Does this new medium provide for increased opportunities to engage in causes that were once far removed from you? • Do we actually need to move towards tangible action or have we actually made an impact simply by sharing a video, sharing an image, or retweeting?