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How Online Discussion Offers More Potential for Social Change Than IRL Activism

This article was originally published on January 14, 2022 at https://medium.com/non-monetized-together/you-dont-need-to-go-viral-to-make-an-important-post-online-5b3f99e1c00e?source=friends_link&sk=4f40ea7de73ae401902bc679722b8c1e

I’m serious, participating in online discussion could be the #1 way an ordinary person can cause some change in the world! I get the sense that others think that very online people are wasting their time arguing with strangers. No, it’s a big deal. And it doesn’t just have potential to result in social change — it IS social change. People remember what others say online. It has an impact on others. Even if it’s just a small amount of people, like a few dozen. You won’t likely get that type of exposure in “real life.” If your post has few views but is effective, it may impact the reader’s attitudes and behaviours, which impacts other people! And you can make hundreds, or even thousands of these posts! The thing about viral social justice campaigns is that they are under pressure to conform to norms. They just make people feel like they have their beliefs validated. That’s not social change right there. Social change is being honest and not worrying about being popular. Most people aren’t even aware of this and use Internet discussions negatively! If you use it positively, you stand out. Oh, and remember, you have the chance to view even your most heated online debates as a learning experience, not a boxing match. Sometimes a learning experience for you, but not always. It can be a learning experience for those who you are interacting with, those who can join in, signed-out “lurkers,” or even readers from the future! Even when the discussion feels “hopeless,” it’s not. There are also people like me who like discussing things online because I have the freedom to type things out, make sure I’m saying how I really feel, and organize my thoughts. I don’t have the opportunity to think things through in a real-life debate. Hopefully, YouTube’s removal of the dislike button will encourage people to contribute their part to the necessity that is the comments section.

Oh, and I forgot to mention! Going on the Internet can help you learn about problems in society you wouldn’t have been able to know about otherwise!

#Change #Progress #InternetDebate #InternetDiscussion