Covid19 has the world going online and virtual strikes may be the future. Covid19 shutdown opens doors for virtual strikes for the future.
The advertising industry studies online human behavior and conversations to shape brands. This shows that what humans talk about online goes on to shape the entire consumer industry and may go a lot further than that.
The entry of hashtags into social media has certainly been a game changer. Searching #blackgirlmagic will reveal a black female empowerment movement that has been long overdue. These online conversations went on to unearth long standing beauty standards that catered for one group while marginalising the rest.
So public conversation is important, especially one accompanied by hashtags. New topics under the #covid19 arises everyday. The topic of gender based violence has been a major concern since the shutdown.
The #somewomenneedtowalk movement in Britain has braved the Covid19 shutdown and marched to raise awareness of women living in abusive households.
Their main concern is that facilities for women who need refuge during lockdown may not be able to house the potential rise of those in need. It is about more than just speeches and promises.
The capacity of marches, even with a few brave ones cannot have the same effect as when everyone can meet and physical contact is not banned. It online petitions are a great way to back up this movement but can only go so far in driving a conversation.
A virtual strike can take place in one or more social media apps posting about a similar issue using the same hashtags. In the same manner that people will post about a TV show and interact in real time. A virtual March of people using the same hashtag at the same time would be a great way to garner attention on an issue.
What I am suggesting here is not unlike what we have been doing all along. The power of the public to generate a conversation has potential to influence the media and in turn get the attention that may be needed on the issue.
Granted of course there is always a double edged sword to using social media so what can start as a good cause can quickly turn sour.
To conclude here, I want you to leave with the thought of how we can best use social media to fight the important battles. The best way to change perceptions and gain attention on an issue is to start a conversation. Especially now that we have no choice but to connect virtually.