The world of politics is messing. Every decision made by a political figure is scrutinized and to some degree it should be. Our public servants should never forget they serve at the will of the people. However, that discussion is for another time.
In the last few days the news cycle has been filled with the abhorrent behaviors of Boko Haram. I despise giving this evil man any notoriety. So for those of you that do not know who he is, just know he is a evil Islamic extremist terrorist that has captured 300 hundred girls and has threatened to sell them into a sex trade. Due to his cruel Godless actions people have been trying to raise awareness of his heinous acts against these innocent girls.
The method chosen to make the public aware has been one through social media. If you have seen #BringOurGirlsBack this is what it references. Its worth mentioning this hashtag was started by the people of Nigeria. Hence why it says bring “our” girls back. Some folks were making light of the fact that Americans were using the hashtag. Many conservatives were discussing the fact that “hashtagging” something online was a poor attempt at bringing awareness and failed to present a solutions to this issue.
This issue has left some, myself included, questioning the validity of using social media, specifically hashtags, when handling political issues.
There has been many instances sense President Obama took office where his administration has used social media and “hashtags” to show support or nonsupport for many issues. While others chime in with opposing view points and mock the use of social media in that manner. Even the State Department has taken pictures of employees holding pieces of paper with a hashtagged statement.
After thinking about this issue, I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t anything wrong with using social media to bring awareness to global problems. It was done earlier last year with Syria, Russia, and now Nigeria.
Ultimately, I see it as the internet is still very young. The idea of “global connectivity” is infantile. President Obama was the first president to tweet while in office. People are using the internet to stay informed. It only makes sense to use the internet trends to reach a wider audience for awareness. The First Lady posed with a sign that said #BringOurGirlsBack and it ruffled many people’s feathers. I actually found it appropriate for her to do that. She was taking an active role in informing the people of this man’s horrible acts.
I think we will see more of this behavior from elected officials. Republicans and Democrats alike will use these methods to help causes that need to have light shed on. I do no think that is a bad thing. Some folks find this social media campaign laughable. I think that is mostly because nothing is being done to advance the cause for those three hundred girls. I’m not sure many would argue that point. The majority of those hashtagging have no way to help those poor girls. So we rally behind them by showing solidarity behind a hashtag.
The only crime would be for our elected officials to show support and so much hoopla over these poor girls and not actively work to help find and #BringBackOurGirls. However, that isn’t the case. The President has sent folks to Nigeria to help aid with strategy in finding these girls. I am confident that things are happening behind the scenes we are unaware of.
Social media is an instrumental part of our everyday lives. Its only natural for politics to be affect by it. I believe that the future Presidents of this country will use it to further engage the country in important matters. I think this quarreling going on about its uselessness will eventually end.
As long as at least something behind the scenes is being done I have no problem with elected officials using social media to raise awareness. I believe that by utilizing social media you are helping to unite people all around this country. You are creating a support system and joining citizens in soldiery in opposing one evil man’s idea of what is right and just.
This in itself is humbling.