The Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council hosted its 8th annual International Education Summit (the Summit) on Friday, November 21, 2014. The Council welcomed 116 students and 7 teachers from Oak Hills High School, Princeton High School and Wyoming high School to Northern Kentucky University. Thank you to our Title Sponsor Northern Kentucky University and our Supporting Sponsors: Kentucky E-Zone, Kentucky Innovation Network and Up-Tech. This event would not have been possible without your support!
This year the Summit’s topic was Social Media and Its Global Impact. For the first time ever students were asked to tell us what they thought about the topic through a persuasive essay contest.
Our winner was Anna Manzi, a senior, from Princeton High School! Below is the essay prompt and her winning essay! Pictured is Essay Contest Winner Anna Manzi with GCWAC’s Michelle Harpenau and Katie Krafka!
In your opinion, what social media platform has made the biggest impact in the world and why? Has social media had a negative or positive effect on the world? Share at least two examples from various countries to compare the cultural, political and/or economic state of affairs as impacted by social media.
Social Media and Its Global Impact by Anna Manzi
Social media has greatly impacted the world. It has the power to shape the cultural, political, and economic aspects of society. Facebook has been at the forefront of social media, making itself indispensable in political realm internationally.
While access to the internet may vary across the globe, social media is a trend that is continuing to grow. Over 23% of the world’s population is active on social media. As of October 6, 2014 Facebook had 1,155 million users around the world. Facebook is the leading social media platform in the United States, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Germany, New Zealand and many other countries around the globe. (“James”)
In 2011, Facebook played a key role in the Egyptian revolution. The revolution gained strength through the effective use of Facebook. Sascha Meinrath, the director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative summed it up perfectly by stating that “social media have become the pamphlets of the 21st century, a way that people who are frustrated with the status quo can organize themselves and coordinate protest, and in the case of Egypt, revolution”. The activists used Facebook to tell the world about the injustice they were facing and through the information, the pictures and the videos posted, they gained support for their cause. (“Gustin”)
Recently another group of people used Facebook while attempting to bring about political change. There was a movement for Scotland to break away from the United Kingdom. Many young people, both in favor of Scotland’s independence and against it, turned to Facebook in an attempt to sway voters to their side. On the surface it appeared that the vote would likely be won by the Yes Scotland Campaign, based on the fact that their Facebook page had 309,102 likes, while the Better Together Campaign had only 210,681 likes. The Yes Scotland Campaign posted pictures, posters, videos and endorsements from celebrities on their Facebook page. The Better Together Campaign, on the other hand, focused on the benefits of being a part of the United Kingdom and how being an independent country would impact individuals economically. Both parties used Facebook, but ultimately the Better Together Campaign used it more effectively. They had a 100% engagement rate because of people posting, sharing and liking their statuses. The Yes Scotland campaign only had a 65% engagement rate. By using Facebook to reach potential voters, Scotland voted to remain a part of the United Kingdom, a result that was predicted by Facebook. (“Riddell”)
Facebook is the most widely used form of social media in the world. Social media has had a positive impact on the world by allowing injustice to be brought to light and igniting movements to try to make the world a better place. Social media has given political interest groups and parties a new method of providing the general public with statistics and news. Social media has expanded the worldview of the general population causing people to become more educated and informed on many different social issues.
Congratulations to Anna who was awarded two All-Museum passes to the Cincinnati Museum Center!