Starting a dialogue today is not as difficult as one would think. Social media has truly revolutionised conversations around anything and everything. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram are not just tools of communication, but even tools of social message reaching out to millions and millions of users.
Apart from the news channels, internet users refresh their twitter feed to check on updates around the world. Facebook has become the platform to search for new videos and trends. While this also allows for online trolling and bullying, let’s focus our attention to the positives that have come out of social media conversations.
Twitter’s #PositionOfStrength conference in Mumbai showcased how online activity has helped create awareness for not just brands, but movements that affect millions of people worldwide, especially women. This Twitter campaign hopes to empower women and encourage them to have a safe dialogue without the fear of harassment.
Mahima Kaul, Public Policy Head, Twitter India, tells us about the various hashtags movements that have ignited conversations online and taken it beyond the digital screens.
Hashtags like #MyFirstPublicIndecency that was started by Aditi Mittal, a stand-up comedian, got attention of thousands of people who tweeted their first incident of public harassment. Aditi says, “I tweeted this out when there was the news of a couple being taken away by the police for being ‘publicly indecent’. She adds, ” We [women] go through public indecency every day, some of us have learnt to brush it off and ignore it, but for some it becomes difficult to cope with.”
She got hundreds and thousands of tweets, and the hashtag invited so many conversations that it became a point of discussion among strangers exchanging stories and experiences.
Rachana Iyer and Rohan Sabharwal, co-founders of Crayon Impact, an organisation that helps change makers and innovators through creative collaborations, tell us how social media is helping change conversation online. Rachana says, “Social media is a platform that gives equal opportunity for everybody to voice their opinions, the challenges they are facing without any discrimination or distinction.”
Social media has become a way of life for most of us these days but Mahima Kaul points out that there still is a gender gap when it comes to internet access. 76% of the internet users are actually only males. Getting women on board is still a battle that we need to win, and this can be done only with a change in the mindset. The reason these women are not using internet is not because of lack of technology, but because of lack of choice. In some communities, women are not even provided smartphones.
#PositionOfStrength talks about women empowerment and creating a platform that displays issues, ignites dialogue that can lead to change in the status of women worldwide.