DALLAS, September 25, 2013 – Social media continues to revolutionize human communication and organization. Daily, the era of trickle-down information distribution fades into the past as instant data shapes power-dynamics between the populace and political authorities.
Because the ability to act is at one’s fingertips, 21st century political activism and advocacy are the new epicenter for organizing grass-roots protests, supportive campaigns, boycotts or petitions. These wildfires are capable of challenging prevailing attitudes, shaping policy, altering opinions, and tangibly impacting commercial and political organizations.
A common criticism of social media activism is that it can’t provide the tangible action that social change has always required because it promotes “slactivism”. Feel-good clicking is the currency of involvement rather than physical action, so campaigns give the appearance of impact with no real-world results.
While it’s true that hardly half of Facebook likes or Tweets inspire activism – social media political engagement is a gateway. As trust in mainstream media plummets, users increasingly seek information online. Recent polls indicate 66% of adults conduct civil and political activity via Facebook and Twitter, and that peer pressure inspires involvement among otherwise apathetic citizens.
As a movement, libertarians or libertarian-leaning conservatives are in the midst of an ideological revival organized largely online. Blessed by the ability to connect with fellow thinkers and activists, leaders, writers, policy-analysts use popular platforms to evangelize the principles of individual and economic liberty. Popular personalities can reach millions per day.
Several advocates are succeeding in translating their social media activism into political success. One such mover-and-shaker is Julie Borowski, also known to Youtube audiences as Token Libertarian Girl.
The 24-year old energetic humorist burst onto the social media scene during the 2012 election campaign, creating videos in her bedroom. She began challenging media narratives and misconceptions about libertarian policy and candidate Ron Paul, quickly becoming a favorite. Her channel reaches millions and has grown to 38,000 subscribers.
Now, Borowski is a policy analyst for FreedomWorks and the Center for Competitive Politics. She sits on the advisory board for the Coalition to Reduce Spending and has aided several candidates with campaigning efforts. Her writing is featured on several venues, including Reason, The Blaze and Town Hall.
Julie shared her thoughts with the Communities in this first interview in a 12-part series documenting profiles in 21st century digital activism. Though most of our generation lives a portion of life online, even serious activists find the public glare overwhelming. Julie shares her experience, offers advice and encouragement to others considering launching into public and the unique real world experiences and opportunities online activism has provided her.
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