Japheth Omojuwa: Activism 3.0: One part of a dynamic evolving phenomenon (YNaija FrontPage)
Digital Activism must speak a better language than noise, we must speak in terms of policies and alternatives to ideas we do not want.
The times have changed and are indeed increasingly on the change. In times past a few citizens called activists made change happen, today, societies are a lot more inclusive than that. The era of the activists defined the nineties and the decades before it, in the noughties and beyond, the internet has brought about a change that reached an early periodical climax with the Arab Spring. This is the kind of change that must be brought about by the people and not just a cluster of agitated citizens. Digital Activism is part of a whole that must not be seen as an end in itself.
This is about digital activism but we must not get carried away by this new baby and forget that we have old tools that have served us in years past and served us with successes. We did not need digital activism to bring down tyrants in the decades digital activism was not even a reality let alone a compound noun. In other words, we must see digital activism as a support tool for other tools of driving effective policy change. The age old organizing tactic of reaching out directly to the masses in their homes and village squares, the printing and distribution of flyers and the use of conventional radio, television and newspapers must continue. These ones are relatively more expensive than the digital space but if we must drive change, we must not look at the cost of change because then we would be weighed down by the fear of what we cannot do rather than soar in hope and belief of what we can do. Having said that, digital activism has proven to be the tool of today that takes you beyond borders and if the tomorrow we desire and crave must come to pass we must make use of what we have today. Whatever we do, we must carry the people along. The battle for change and a better life is a battle every people and generation must fight by themselves
Dynamism and Evolution:
Those who cannot evolve in the digital space are more endangered than endangered species because while they may have their voices heard today, tomorrow they may not be heard no matter how loud they shout if they fail to evolve with the times. Digital activism has dynamism as its central theme. It is a fast paced world and those who take a pause will never meet the train. There is no time to waste. You cannot waste what you don’t have. We must be thinking and be putting our thoughts to work in real time. As Proactivists, we must be blazing the trail and leading the line. We cannot afford to be clueless at any time, we must know all there is to know about everything as humanly possible as the digital world allows. Thankfully, it allows no limits.
The times have changed and the people’s voices are louder and clearer than ever. We may not be able to buy spaces in newspapers, we may not be able to afford slots on television and radio but we can as one people with one voice and one hash tag speak louder than the decibels of television and radio, clearer and more potent than newspapers and magazines and more immediate and on time than any medium in human history. That is the power of the digital space and this is the power of the people – our very own power for real change. Digital Activism must speak a better language than noise, we must speak in terms of policies and alternatives to ideas we do not want. Only then can we make digital activism as or even more relevant than any form of activism.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.