You wake up, click your alarm off and rub your eyes. It’s too early for the rest of your body to move, so you take to your phone and check updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
You realize a hashtag you didn’t notice yet: #Aurora #SandyHook #Ferguson
These mean nothing to you, but after discovering what they are linked to, suddenly you see their significance. You learn that these hashtags are connected to devastating news.
“I’m reminded that it was once illegal for my people to assemble in this country...”
When it comes to your discovery of #Ferguson tweets, you really dive in, as you have no idea how to connect and reach out to people. You don’t know what it’s like in that area, what it’s like to be black, and what it’s like to be so angry and hurt. You are mostly just sad.
You start reading tweets with sentiments of anger, frustration, and depth. You can hear the power of their voices come through.
People are connecting and really resonating with tweets. Together their voices are becoming stronger.
“What is so powerful about #BlackTwitter is that Twitter became a platform for us to talk to each other, in ways that weren’t mediated by dominant culture.”
Hashtags seem to have the power to create community around something meaningful, and connecting likeminded users on this intense topic. They have the power to start social movements.
And with the #BlackTwitter, it connected a whole group of individuals and creates real, raw power. And with a lot of voices, there is no way you can’t be heard.
Voices turn to news, news turns to discovery, discovery turns to action.
Yes, some people might sit back in their beds and feel powerless. Feeling like they are not able to do ANYTHING.
But at least they are thinking, becoming more aware, and understanding something that hurts so many people today.
And history is being created.
Watch the full New York Times video that inspired this card: They Helped Make Twitter Matter in Ferguson Protests.