For my final blog post of the semester, I want to take some time to wrap up and bring the previous eleven posts all together.
My blog started off discussing the evolution of social media and then moved to the development of the hashtag. With that basic knowledge acquired, I was able to move forward and closely examine eight significant, digital, social campaigns that have taken place in the past few years. If you haven’t had a chance to read through all eight yet, just follow the links below.
As I stated in my proposal, I specifically looked at these campaigns because of their overarching themes – sexuality, relationships, and gender roles. Although these are all individual stories and campaigns, they stand together to address similar causes: gender equality, women’s rights, self-confidence, gender roles, self-perception, and sexuality.
Throughout the course, Sexuality and Social Media, we have delved into countless conversations that aim to break the norm or the mainstream point of view. Whether we are looking at sexual assault on college campuses, abortion rights, or sexuality in the media, we are constantly examining why these norms have been developed and the opposing viewpoints would be.
I really enjoyed researching the ways in which social media has been able to help break these norms. If leaders like Emma Watson or Wendy Davis never spoke up, then hashtags like #HeForShe or #StandWithWendy would have never developed and the national conversation and perception around these issues would never change.
It is time to understand that we now live in a world where news and public opinion can be controlled by more than just the media and PR professionals. We all truly have a voice and although it is often limited to 140 characters or less, sometimes all you need is a hashtag.
Although an entire problem will not be fixed by Tweets and social shares, the most important development is that conversations change. For example, with #JadaPose and #CarryThatWeight, neither hashtag was able to change sexual assault as a whole but they both facilitated conversation and inspired action to take place across the country. They inspired other survivors to come forward and share their messages – a success and step forward that news outlets alone could not have achieved.
I hope you have found my blog informative and enlightening. I urge you to use hashtags if you do not already do so, and of course support the hashtags that are working towards a cause close to you.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog and left comments! I hope you will find a place to share this information or at the very least have gained a better sense of social sharing and the true impact a hashtag can have on a campaign.