In Graham Meikle’s Future Active: Media Activism and the Interest, Meikle examines the impact that the interest plays in social change. According to the author, the internet plays a huge role in forming a community. People who share similar beliefs come together online and are able to create social change. Though it is through an artificial source like the internet, it serves it as a utility for people to connect when they otherwise would not have. People enjoy having this feeling of freedom that the internet gives you, as Meikle says, “Time and again, parts of the Net that take on the aspects of open publishing prove to be enormously popular.” (105). Portals where people can freely voice, connect, and form a community have seen such a surge in popularity due to what they offer the public. Websites like Twitter, for example, provide up to date and instant news on a 24/7 clock. There is also this accessibility to be able to have an open discussion with anyone with the click of a button and the typing on a keyboard. In seconds, a person in Los Angeles can be having a discussion with someone from Australia. These platforms make the world a little bit smaller, as we are able to find similarities between us and people from other walks of life. Along with this, people are able to create online fan bases, which helps some who feel disenfranchised or left out be a part of a community. While it may be a cyber community, it still makes a difference in showing someone that they are not alone. For example, pop artist Lady Gaga has a huge online fan base, known as Little Monsters. Fans of the singer from all over the world go online to meet other fans and compare favorite Gaga songs and fashion. The internet serves as this multi-dimensional mechanism in the way that it creates a sense of community.
Questions: Do you think the internet is strong enough to actually create social change that will last? Or is more of a temporary community?