Just last week students all over the world, including Montclair State University students, began protests for school safety and gun reform because they felt they are not being heard. For a change, our voices are being used not only on just social media platforms but also out loud in the physical world.
One problem with using social media as a platform to speak up is that it places a barrier between you and others around you. Yes, you do get your ideas out in the public, but your ideas only matter if you have a large following. If you do not have a large following, you are just speaking out into the void.
Another problem with posting your views online is that your tone of voice is not being used. People will not hear the pain you dealt with nor will they hear how you feel talking about the subject.
Speaking of a large following, Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, have gained a mass following after speaking for gun reform. Gonzalez, Hogg and many other survivors of the school shooting decided to put their views out in the open on both social media and in the physical world.
When Gonzalez and Hogg appeared on talk shows, they spoke out into the physical world. They reached people all over the world who had felt their pain and empathized with their experience.
During the 1970s, there had been many protests that had made an impact on the government and the people of the nation. There were college protests that discussed the government’s involvement in wars and policies that students did not agree with.
A famous protest that stunned the nation was the Kent State University protest which occurred on May 4, 1970 and was later known as the Kent State Massacre. The students protested Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia, where the police had also killed four students which led to the entire nation marching for change.
Coming back to the present-day physical world, the Stoneman Douglas survivors have created a foundation for students and people all over the world to speak out about issues they want the government to fix. Protesting has been around for as long as anyone can remember, but the millennial generation has revitalized it.
The millenial generation has learned that if no one is going to listen, then we will make them listen. Using social media and using your voice is important if you want something to change. For example, multiple women came forward about Harvey Weinstein sexual assaulting them and the Time’s Up movement was created. Women spoke up and a drastic change was made in the entertainment industry. If no one speaks up, then nothing will ever change.
Now, students all over the world will not take the word “no” as an answer. Students all over the world will not just sit around and believe that their voices do not matter. Students are not protesting to get out of class; we are protesting because our voices do matter, and they deserve to be heard. So much for those silly kids that have their eyes glued to their phones, huh?