Malcolm Gladwell's Small Change

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Malcolm Gladwell, in his essay “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not be Tweeted” (originally written for The New Yorker), tells the tale of the Greensboro sit-ins and how they cannot be repeated in our digital age. He begins with the history of the sit-ins and how they led to a cross-state protest. He proves such things can rarely be duplicated in our society of acquaintances by using only social media. He moves on to discuss other threads, including the story of a lost phone and the social pressure that led the police to arrest the teenager that picked it up. He talks about strong-ties vs. weak-ties and how they shape our activism -- or lack thereof. Gladwell’s point, that social media activism isn’t real activism is truthful, due to…show more content…
We think of it as the only way to be an activist. Social Media does draw attention to campaigns, yet, it rarely does anything useful with them. Yes, a 5K can raise thousands for cancer research or a local charity, but “Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice” (321). Yet, Facebook will never substitute the lunch counters of Greensboro. Despite the fact that as Americans we can look back on the civil rights movements within the last 50 to 100 years, we seem to have, as Gladwell puts it, “forgotten what real activism is” (317). Activism is something you must feel deeply, yet, we are very shallow on social media activism. However, it goes deeper than this in the American psyche. From an early age children are taught social media is life changing. Why else would 10 year olds be on Facebook? Social media has become so deeply rooted in our minds, we think we can change the world, just by a click. Low-risk activism is not real activism. It’s a false sense of security that soothes our minds into thinking we are changing the world. Weak-tie people don’t do much useful work. They get donors to register for bone-marrow or get phones back for wall streeters, yet they do not oust terrorists or
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