Let there be peace

Whether we realize it or not, there is a rich history of nonviolent protests in our country as well, such as the underground railroad. In order to get your word across there is no need to hurt anyone or damage anyone’s property and personally I think a message is better absorbed and taken more seriously if exhibited in a calm, mature manor. The majority of protest groups gathering via Facebook and other social media networks are unlikely to be violent or discuss destructive behavior since they are weary of getting in trouble since authorities can get a hold of these pages very easily since those who feel they are in danger can simply report them through the site. Abortion, as we all know by now, is an extremely sensitive topic and when emotions are high people can overreact. Peaceful, nonviolent, and prayerful movements make much more of an impact and I hope to see many of the social media organized protests end up this way so it does not get a bad wrap. Peaceful sit-ins and quiet marches allow the protests to speak their voices without the intervention of police and bystanders who are offended by their behavior.

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Back to reality…

Hello! Spring break for Florida State students is over and we are now into the home stretch. About 8 more weeks of classes left before summer break and then straight into fall for my last semester of college, ever. I hope everyone had a safe, exciting, and relaxing break! As I continue my research about how social media networks and protests coincide, specifically anti-abortion protests, I began to realize that there are good and bad things that could come along with this relationship and merging of ideas. In this blog post I will reflect on the unfortunate characteristics and why we should all become aware of what can potentially happen. Protests in front of abortion clinics often get violent, including things in the form of vandalism and arson. This scares me and I do not understand how people against killing unborn babies can be so violent. This comes off as somewhat hypocritical to me. According to a religious tolerance website most of the violence appears to be mainly criminal activities by individuals religiously-motivated. Apparently there is said to be over $13 million in damage caused by violent groups since 1982. This website lays out all of the incidents in a chart and makes it easy to see just what these groups are doing, something I find very ineffective and does not convince me of their argument at all. Violence Chart

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Welcome back!

Hi everyone! I cannot wait until Spring Break! In the meantime, I picked up a newspaper on campus the other day that had the anti-abortion protest right on the front page. The article was titled “Anti-abortion mural polarizes” and the pictures of the event are very large, drawing your attention to the paper since it does not contain a lot of text at first. The newspaper article invites those reading it to go on the internet to the newspaper’s website to an online photo gallery for more photos or to post their comments to the story. I found it very interesting how the two other pictures that were involved with the article on the front page were those that invited you right to the internet, the breeding ground of social media. On the left hand side of the front page, there is of course an ad to find the newspaper on Facebook, the best source for Florida State news. There website is located here if you are interested in checking it out… FSView & Florida Flambeau. You can scroll down all of the posts to find the one involving the protest. Our society today is extremely dependable on social communications and these two simple examples show how it is something we cannot get away from. Even while we are reading the old-fashioned print form of media, the idea and mention of cyberspace is never far away. While I was doing some research for anti-abortion protests and social media related stories, I observed the majority of the websites I fell upon about these protests offered either a Twitters, Facebook, or blog related ad on the right side of the page for those interested in getting involved. These types of ads followed me throughout my whole search and I was tempted to visit the sites every time. One example of this is on the Delaware University’s newspaper website just beneath the breaking news alert, which also grasps the reader’s attention. UD Review.

My search led to me think about how our current President, Barack Obama, was dealing with these types of issues. When President Obama was giving the graduation speech at America’s leading Roman Catholic Unversity, Notre Dame, he faced angry protesters and was heckled throughout his speech. Activists lined the entrance of the campus, holding signs, ready to voice their opinions to the most powerful many in the nation. Even thought I feel everyone’s opinions are important I think this was awfully disrespectful and took away from the point of the ceremony. According to the article, the president acknowledged the controversy caused by his visit and appealed for those on both sides of the argument to “open our hearts and our minds those who may not think like we do or believe what we do” in the search for “common ground”. Speech

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The protestors are gone…

The anti-abortion protesters that were in the student union at my school, Florida State University in Tallahassee, are finally gone and have probably moved on to bug another college campus. This video gives you an example of what was occurring. I did not agree with what they were protesting about and I feel every women she have the own rights to her body and what she decides to do with it, labeling me “pro-choice” if you must. I do not necessarily think abortion is a good thing and I feel like it should be prevented at all costs, with things such as birth control and proper sex education, but when it comes down to it a woman should be allowed to take control of her body and have the choice to go through with one if she feels that is what is best for her, the baby, and everyone else involved.

I decided to venture through Facebook just to see how many abortion protests pages there were and how much these groups are utilizing this form of social media. I typed the word ‘abortion” into the search box at the top of my homepage and was immediately bombarded with an onslaught of pages, the first one titled “ABORTION IS WRONG!” Over 4,000 people had “liked” this page so there are obviously many people taking part. Some people had posted poems and others simply stated their opinions on the issue at hand. I believe everyone should be able to voice their opinion but there are some sensitive topics which you must be careful of what you say and be mindful of other people’s feelings. Some of the comments and posts on social media sites can be toxic to others and I know that there are very harsh things said since it is much easier to type something behind the comfort and curtain of your computer screen than right to someone’s face. Fortunately, Facebook has actually announced two new safety features in conjunction with the White House to protect teens and young users from the things that lead to cyber-bullying. According to CNN, under the new system, a user could identify a photo, status update or other item as bullying them, then privately send a message to someone in their friend network about it. I think this is awesome since many protests can lead to unfortunate events like this when two extremely opinionated individuals bump heads. Regardless, a large number of people are taking part and it shows no sign of slowing down…

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Hello world! Welcome to my blog about media & antisocial/prosocial behavior!

Welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy reading it, despite the seriousness of the issue that will discussed. Protesting is nothing new to our society and most definitely not a thing of our past. We are constantly bombarded with the opinions of others and sometimes when individuals become extremely passionate about an issue they decide to protest in order to get their

message heard.  Currently, the most evident example of this is the popular protests happening in Egypt and Iran. The article Egyptian protests gives you a little bit of insight and information on the issue in case you are not aware. The website Social Media as a Tool for Protest does a good job of explaining the use of social networking media such as Facebook to help organize, communicate, and ultimately initiate campaigns and street action protests. Social media has been rapidly taking over society and with so many people familiar with the technology it seems like the perfect form of communication to get in touch with people who have similar beliefs as you. At a very low cost groups are able to discuss protests tactics without planning a meeting time that works with everyone’s schedule and allows many more people to commit to the revolution regardless of their busy schedules. Narrowing my blog topic to a more specific serious of events, an issue that has caught my attention recently is in regards to pro-choice/abortion protesters that have been on my  college campus. Not only social media, but every medium can be used in a very pro-social way such as support groups, fundraising, and connecting family members who have become disconnected over time. I feel like protesting through social media gives off the impression to those who are not familiar with the websites that this type of communication is filled with negatively and fighting. Anti-abortion murals were all over campus the past few days and these protests were extremely vocal and new how to get their message across to uninterested students passing by their awful display. The demonstrators belonged to a group called the Genocide Awareness project, which travels all around the country displaying murals depicting disturbing abortion images.  The group has many different Facebook pages created by different people, which allows followers the ability to easily connect with those who are on the same page as them. GAP is one of their Facebook pages from a high school trying to recruit fellow classmates. My next post will elaborate on the relationship

between abortion protests and social media. How it is used, why it is used, and also what different types are used since social media is much more than just Facebook. Stay tuned! 


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