Week 2 Reflections

After attending the initial class for UGBA 192AC: Social Movements and Social Media, I am eager to begin driving engagement towards major social movements through my blog posts. Hearing from representatives of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts during the first class was inspiring to say the least — my fondness towards the arts definitely took a backseat for the past two years I have spent at Berkeley. The rigorous academic aura of this campus definitely drove me towards other professional areas, ultimately preventing me from appreciating the artistic social culture of the Bay Area to its full extent. In that regard, I am enthusiastic about what the rest of the semester holds and how I will hopefully be able to gain the ability to connect art to social movements happening around the globe.

With the way politics in the United States has been proceeding, the article by Kerric Harvey about social media and politics really caught my attention. A majority of political campaigns’ traction really picks up through websites such as Twitter and Facebook. These mediums facilitate a discussion of “change” (Harvey 4). Another interesting facet of this discussion of how the two inextricably intertwine is measuring the level of engagement (or I guess you could say the success of the platform on social media). Harvey describes that measure to be synonymous to nailing down water — impossible. However, I feel that there are mechanisms that can be employed to almost accurately track the relative success or failure of said platform. Also, the way online outlets frame media such as television, podcasts, and radio, is also intriguing. For example, through Twitter, communities have developed that solely bash on Fox News (not the most unbiased or reliable news source in my opinion), but anyways, these communities augment their shared opinions making the circulation of news that is derived from Fox, incredibly unattractive. For all these reasons, social media can’t be so distinctly defined in the political sphere. Part of this also has to do with cultural geography. The way North Americans approach social media is vastly different from how Europeans use social media. The cultural gaps further develop the ambiguous nature of social media in politics.