News Response #6

“How the Parkland Students Got So Good at Social Media

This New York Times article does a great job examining the ways that survivors of the nation’s most recent school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have utilized social media to keep the story in the news. Not only have they kept the issue of gun control in the public light, they have been able to reshape the narrative around the tragedy with their own voices. With some of the students amassing huge followings on social media sites, they have been able to passionately fight for increased gun control to make sure that this is not just another tragedy. These individuals believe that they can utilize this opportunity to pivot towards change. The students discuss how Twitter is their most effective method of communication, as they can tweet stories, memes, video clips, and more to voice their support, raise awareness, and continue their outspoken and passionate desire to minimize gun deaths in America. Some of these young advocates like Sarah Chadwick or Delaney Tarr mention how Instagram and Facebook have less prominence since Twitter is such an effective means of reaching the public. I think it is interesting how Twitter’s interface gives retweets, quote tweets, and multimedia responses the capacity to make a huge impact from moment to moment. Although I know our nation’s complex and ugly problems with gun control will not be completely solved by these online movements, it brings me excitement to know that these individuals have been able to have such a large influence due to the connecting power of Twitter. I truly hope that these advocates are able to continue their efforts, connect with more people who have similar thoughts, utilize these online spaces to bridge the gap between those on the opposing side of the argument, and move our nation forward towards greater safety for the populace.