One year ago this week, the world watched as George Floyd was murdered by a police officer. The injustice and brutality of his death sparked protests around the US, around the world, and all across social media. On the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, we asked our Youth Advisory Board how his tragic murder impacted how young people and how they use their social media to talk about issues they care about. Here’s what they had to say…
Now–more than ever before–our Youth Advisory Board members told us that they are taking to social media not just to post about their lives or check up on their friends, but to speak up and speak their minds about issues that they care about.
“For me George Floyd’s murder affected me in being more intentional about listening to black voices and speaking out about what I believe in. I feel like it also helped me find other people who believe the same things I do.” – Adyra F.
“After George Floyd’s murder I definitely started to use my Instagram as a way to advocate for social justice more than I had before.” – Zoe B.
“The murder of George Floyd was so tragic and it was a huge wake up call that things needed to change. It made me realize that the impact of social media does make a difference. I started re-posting about BLM on my Instagram story.” – Nina K.
“Ever since the George Floyd’s murder, I have been actively using social media to spread the news of various current event news. My friends and I also have openly discussed these issues more in depth in this past year, and share different infographics with one another.” – Angela R.
Educating and Raising Awareness
What do young people hope to accomplish by speaking up using their social media? Educating and raising awareness amongst their friends and followers says our Youth Advisory Board.
“I now view social media as an incredibly useful tool to spread awareness of issues that I believe in.” – Ella S.
“George Floyd’s murder made me much more aware of how I use social media. I became more politically active on social media, using it to spread information and awareness on organizations like Black Lives Matter and other Black people who have been murdered by the police. Social media also became a place to have productive discussions with people who have different political ideologies than me, although sometimes these discussions did not end well. I used platforms like Instagram and Facebook to find protests near me to attend, and I was able to learn more about the movement and about the effects of George Floyd’s death.” – Ria L.
“Social media is powerful. I believed that statement before, but I believe it even more now because of the murder of George Floyd.” – E.T. Faria
“Social media is powerful. I believed that statement before, but I believe it even more now because of the murder of George Floyd. People can use social media to spread messages across to other people and help shed light on important issues in society. Because of the large scale of the internet, the messages can be seen by millions which create a chain reaction where more and more people get on board with social justice. Social media, although it can be used for silly memes and jokes, is a powerful tool that should be used by many for the purpose of spreading important information and spreading light to issues.” – E.T. Faria
“After George Floyd’s murder, I became more aware of using social media as a device to spread awareness and create real change. My feed was drastically different after that, and I was able to use my social media to educate myself and others, leading me to become more interested in activism and its effects.” – Aanya V.
“I think George Floyd’s murder made me realize how much of an impact social media can have. I started using my platform for more activism and raising awareness of social and political issues.” – Hailey P.