How to Use Technology to Promote Social Change
Technology has created new opportunities to effect social change and improve lives.
How do we change the world for the better? It’s an age-old question. But these days, there are some very modern answers. The technological advances in recent years have given us new ways to connect to others in our communities and across the world. As of 2015, more than 3 billion people in the world have internet access,* and more than 2 billion use social networks.† Never before has it been so easy to reach so many. While plenty of people are using this new technology for commerce and entertainment, there are also numerous opportunities to use modern technology to promote social change. Here are some ways you can do just that.
Share Important Information and News
Before the internet, spreading important information required you to make expensive media buys, distribute pamphlets of questionable efficacy, or make time-consuming trips and personal appearances. With the internet, you can use an organizational website to provide all the information essential to understanding your cause and the actions that need to be taken to effect change. Additionally, through social media, you can keep people updated on developments and news affecting your cause.
Build an Engaged Community
Most organizations working for social change have plenty of volunteer opportunities. The internet makes finding people to take on those opportunities far easier than ever before. Those who share your concerns can seek you out online. Likewise, you can find them through online message boards and social media posts. And volunteers are just one way you can get people involved. Through an active online presence, you can build an engaged, worldwide network of volunteers, activists, donors, and concerned citizens. You no longer have to rent out community space to bring people together. You can do so online.
Provide Training and Education
Whether you’re disseminating details of your preferred social change model, planning a demonstration, organizing a canvassing event, or just teaching others about the importance of your cause, the internet provides numerous training and educational tools. You can use an online training platform, set up online courses, or distribute educational materials through e-mail and other online means. The limitations depend only on the resources you can apply.
Receive Ground-Level Reports
You can’t be everywhere at once. But if you’ve built a strong online community, you can have eyes and ears all over the place. For instance, if you are a national civil rights activist working in Detroit and a town in California is considering enacting discriminatory codes, you can follow the city council’s debate via social media reports from allies and members of your online community. This can give you real-time, ground-level information. And that might be the difference between being able to take action and being too late.
Take Immediate Action
All over the world, social movements have been using social media such as Twitter to plan and stage demonstrations. You can use the same technology to address issues affecting your own cause. From e-mail campaigns to representatives to emergency relief efforts for those in crisis, the internet allows you to mobilize people swiftly.
Depending on the size and needs of your organization, the internet can save you from having to send out expensive mailers or stand with a donation bucket in the street. You can coordinate and execute major fundraising efforts entirely online. Numerous sites can make the process of fundraising easier and the collection of money simpler. Additionally, crowdfunding allows you to raise specific amounts of money for particular needs. If done well, these efforts can be promoted entirely through social media.
Attend an Online University
Modern technology doesn’t just give you an opportunity to do more, it also gives you the opportunity to learn more. If you are committed to social change, numerous online universities make it easier than ever to earn the kind of degree that can help you enter a nonprofit or public service career. An MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership can be particularly beneficial. This master’s degree program can help you learn about the systems and concepts necessary to create positive social change worldwide. By earning your MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership online, you can take advantage of all the flexibility and convenience provided by online learning. It’s a great way to help yourself learn the skills you’ll need to promote social change through the use of technology.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
*J. Davidson, Here’s How Many Internet Users There Are, Money, on the internet at http://time.com/money/3896219/internet-users-worldwide.
†Statista, Number of Social Network Users Worldwide from 2010 to 2019 (in Billions), on the internet at www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.