Post by @leahroides
On Tuesday, March 26th while the Supreme Court was overhearing two separate same sex marriage cases, nationwide individuals stepped up and owned their voice on social. The color red rapidly changed the face of Facebook when 2.7 million Facebook users regenerated the Human Rights Campaign logo by taking the original blue and yellow color scheme and swapping the colors with red and pink. Not only did the colors change, but Facebook users got creative by overlaying their photos over the logo or adding their own spin to show their support.
It’s easy for people to feel helpless in situations like this because the general population are not members of the Supreme Court overhearing these cases. We have to sit back and watch while a few select people get to decide the fate of individuals in this country. This has the ability to make us feel like we’re unable to participate. However, because social media is an equal opportunity space, it gives us just as much opportunity to voice our opinions on advocacy issues as it does for speaking out about something like our favorite foods. (To put it in perspective, 81% of Americans age 18-29 support marriage equality while only 72% believe with certainty that Chinese food is delicious. Progress!) This movement gave individuals a chance to show support for marriage equality by sharing their message on their social channels.
Social media has humanized and personalized this issue beyond a government vote. Influence has been created online and influence converts while impressions don’t always convert. Whether we realized it or not, signing into Facebook and seeing a sea of red profiles had an impact on others attitudes and behaviors. According to Scientific America this event was a practice of descriptive norms when individuals immediately posted profile images that depicted support and involvement. Those who became involved influenced others behaviors and opinions publicly though a highly populated social channel.
This social activist movement clearly depicts the shift in an advocacy topic that has received the cold shoulder up until now. The social momentum has just begun. Historically, when the people speak up socially and collectively, consensus is the true authority. Check out this example of how activation can be built through social media.