Take action and make a change. Become the change you wish to see in the world
Activism is all about taking actions and making a change. It is just what you do. Change is inevitable. We have come to recognise the fact that power ultimately lies in us. Activism must become a part of us just like our responsibility towards our nation.
Recently hashtag activism is gaining wide popularity on social media. We can see hashtags all around. People use these hashtags promote their ideas through internet to gain support.#BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, #YesAllWomen, #NoBanNoWall are some of the famous hashtags popular on internet.
It is a term coined by Media to denote the use of Twitter hashtags for online activism. But this term is also used to show your support for a cause on any social media platform.
Creation of hashtag
Chris Messina, former Google developer, had created hashtag. He came up with the idea in 2007.
He got the idea from online chatrooms and he pointed his notion to Twitter but the company rejected this idea saying that it would not gain popularity.
He was not ready to give up and he insisted his friends to use hashtags.So one of his friend used hashtag and other people also started using hashtags.
It gained popularity and finally Twitter provided an option to the users to search for hashtags. Later Instagram and Facebook launched it. Now it is widely used by the youth.
Hashtags have gained wide popularity and they have enabled people to connect with people from all around the world within a short span of time. Some of the popular hashtags are:
The Black Lives Matter is an activist movement that campaigns against the racial discrimination and violence against the African-American community. It took its pace after the acquittal of George Zimmerman who killed the 17-year old Trayvon Martin. It saw a revival in 2014.
The 'metoo' movement is a movement against sexual onslaught. This encouraged victims of sexual harassment or the survivors to openly speak about their sufferings. This has gained wide popularity and had helped the society to know about the magnitude of the problem.
It is a social campaign wherein users share stories or experiences about the male chauvinism that is prelevant in the society.It portrays the plight of women in the society.
These are only a few hashtags which had gained a wide popularity recently.
Impact of hashtags
There are a lot of critiques and supporters for the hashtag movements. While some argue that hashtags have helped people in gaining support from all over the world, some argue that it is just a mask to gain wide popularity.
Hashtag activism is pocket-friendly and can grow instantly beyond our social circle. It spreads like wildfire so that authorities take notice of it.It has also become a voice to the voiceless. It can also create an awareness among people on major social issues.
For instance, #JusticeforBankMom was a hashtag shared by an activist when he saw a woman being abused in a bank in Ghana. It spread widely and thus reached the authorities.
On the other hand some people argue that hashtag activism is not as much effective as people are going behind the trend and ignore everything else. Also sharing an issue on social media using hashtags does not effectively mean that the issue is fixed.
Hashtag activism is a great way to indulge in social activities but it must not be the only way. People should move out of their comfort zones to create a change.
Always remember "great things never came from comfort zones."