My generation has been branded as not caring for politics and social justice and I may be biased but I really don’t think it’s the case. If anything our generation should be stereotyped as not being able to stereotype it. Just last week in my community I participated with 80 other young people in raising money for a home in Nepal that is rehabilitating rescued traffic victims. That event was completely arranged by young people on social media sites such as Facebook specifically for the young people to raise money.
Many senior secondary school students participate in political and civic activities. Over half of students surveyed in 2004 had signed a petition (55%), while 21% had collected signatures for a petition, and 15% had taken part in rallies or demonstrations. Students differentiated between the various social movements and causes they would support by taking part in a demonstration – Australian Bureau of Statistics
Granted its not every single young person participating, but does the whole population of Australia ever fully participate in a movement.The amount of times during my high school years our elected Student Body Representatives organised fund raisers and created awareness by alerting our entire school to social movements and social injustices. A lot of these events were specifically organised through our year group’s facebook page. This doesn’t sound like the lazy generation everyone seems to think we are.
Meet my cause: The A21 Campaign.
Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today, generating approximately 31.6 billion USD each year. Specifically, trafficking for sexual exploitation generates 27.8 billion USD per year. – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Let me just break the stereotype and tell you about this amazing cause. This organisation has started to prevent future victims by creating awareness, protecting the rescued victims by housing them in safe locations, prosecuting the traffickers and making sure they get proper sentences as well as creating partnerships with the local law enforcement. Not only does it do all that, but it provides real ways for our ‘lazy generation’ to participate with the organisations 21 Ways to get involved.
How has this organisation managed to motivate so many young people. By using twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and creating informative videos on YouTube they have created multiple platforms from which young people can get involved. On twitter alone the campaign has currently got around 56,000 followers which shows the awareness it has gained through social media.
Although this could be branded as just being another online campaign, I don’t see this as the case with A21 as they provide multiple real world ways people can help the cause beyond just Clicktivism. Important online links like The Problem , Our Solution, Signs of Trafficking, have been used through out the website to provide the next step (both on and offline). Social media has opened my generation up to the idea of social change and that we are the ones who can actually change it.