The introduction of the Internet is quite simply one of the biggest game changers in modern history. The Internet, more specifically social media, has been transforming our world and attitudes on quite literally a global scale. People have never been better connected than they are now thanks to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat, just to name a few of the more popular social media networks. Social media has changed much of the fundamental ways in which humans live. This is a trend that is not going away but will only transform into something incredible.
There are so many layers to how social media has connected us all and the effects it has had on our society as a whole. One of the more profound changes that have taken place is the advancement of minority and human rights. People are learning about other people and are being exposed to groups of people that they may have in the past feared, or even hated based on that fear. Social media is teaching people that we are all human and some of the old prejudices are falling away. It is still a slow process but as we continue to connect and learn it will pick up speed and eventually we will do away with all of the outdated hatred.
Gay rights have been one of the biggest benefactors of this social media driven transformation. From Gay marriage to general acceptance, gay people have truly made amazing advancements towards acceptance. There are still some places where there is still a huge struggle for gay people but social media is working on those places. Another group that is beginning to see a wave of acceptance is the transgender people and it is amazing how much it is changing for us in such a short time. When I transitioned, I honestly never believed there would be a day when I could openly admit that I was transgender but that day has come. Thank you social media.
There is still a lot of work to do and there are flare-ups of some of the old prejudices that I thought were behind us. Some of the actions of a small minority of Caucasians towards African Americans are appalling. The now famous hashtag #blacklivesmatter is very relevant and if you don’t get it, that may be part of the problem. I have seen people try to replace it with #alllivesmatter and then not understand why that is offensive to African Americans. I am a super pale trans girl and I found it a little offensive. It is not what the hashtag says, but the fact that it invalidates the current struggles that African American’s are facing. Support these people; do not invalidate them.
It is clear to see that social media has moved us ahead in many aspects but it is also clear to see that we have a lot of work to still do. We touched on but a small sliver of the way that social media is changing the world. There are still many other ways the world is changing such as politically as well as the awareness of problems with the current social construct of the classes. Social media is also transforming the way we do business and how we connect with family and friends. There is very little that is not impacted by it.
Social media is continually evolving as it has moved from mostly text and pictures to video and voice. What will social media 2.0 look like? Will we be using holograms or something just as innovative? It is hard to say how it will look other than the fact that it will continue changing our society. It will move us closer to my dream of equality and acceptance for all. It will change the political landscape, perhaps topple the social classes, we will just have to wait and see. The only thing I do know is that it will make our lives better.