Stop Kony?

May 14, 2012
By , Sugar Land, TX
Turning heads all over the world, we will take a look at how “Kony 2012” became such a viral video.

We are also going to look at the how people use the Internet’s social media sites.

Yes, social media sites can be used in ways other than stalking people!

We all saw social websites, such as Twitter and Facebook, erupt with tweets and status updates attaching links to the YouTube video that started it all. We saw things such as STOP KONY or KONY 2012 , long messages about how people are going to set up a protest for KONY in town or wear red to school on a particular day.

The video has also been emphasized by celebrities such as actress Angelina Jolie, who is also a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Oprah, the social media queen and a key aid in spreading awareness about the video, singer/musician Taylor Swift, and T.V./Radio Personality Ryan Seacrest. Politicians, such as former President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and John Kerry, also put their two cents in about the “Kony 2012” project. Other well-known people who helped spread the word about this viral video include Rihanna, Christina Milian, Nicki Minaj, Bill Gates and Kim Kardashian.

The “Kony 2012” video was made by Invisible Children, Inc. According to their website, they are a non-profit organization which was started in 2003 when three filmmakers, now founders, learned about this war in Africa where kids were targets, victims, and weapons. They decided to take action and now half of their work happens directly in Africa and the other half happens here, in the U.S. According to the statement by Invisible Children, their “work in the United States focuses on advocacy and inspiring America’s youth to ‘do more than just watch’”, which is their motto. And they did just that! By releasing the “Kony 2012” video, they racked up more views than anyone would have expected and they also caught the attention of many important individuals who have the power to stop Kony. Their “goal” for the citizens of America suggests that they want to make people to take a stand for what they believe in, and this video definitely did just that! As I said early on, almost everyone was caught onto the movement and it was all due to the beauty of the Internet.

The video was sitting at 32 million views by Thursday, March 8th, 2012 after being released by Invisible Children on the Monday of the same week. And in less than one week, the viral video broke records by having their views go up to 100 million, a feat even Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga haven’t got to yet.

This should prove to you that social media sites are good at dispersing information as easily as one would spread butter over bread.
Statistics are showing that various ages are using these sites, so parents can’t say that our generation is dependent on the Internet because people their own age use it too! According to Facebook which has more than 901 million users all over the world, over 30% of their users include people that are 35 and over. And being connected to people isn’t that bad because sometimes it comes in handy.

Here is an example that all of us will remember when social media became important.

Remember that Tsunami that happened in Japan last year? The phone lines weren’t working and the only way that people could communicate with their loved ones all over the world was by Internet, for instance Twitter.

Twitter, with 300 million users, had people sending 1,200 tweets per minute. The same applied to Facebook: people were using the Internet to inform everyone about how they were and this helped figure out whether that person was in need of help or was safe. Google also came out with a tool called “Person Finder” where you can find out the status of a missing or injured people.

Statistics show that 48% of young Americans get their news from Facebook. This helps reinforce the idea that there are certain times when the Internet is a source of survival.

The Internet has gone from being solely used by businesses to being a public and important aspect of many lives all over the world.
Let’s go back and talk about the “Kony 2012” project that has seemed to die out a little in the past couple of days but the ambition for a change to occur is still there.

The phenomenon that took place, the way the public took action, even if it was simply through watching a video posted on YouTube or sending out one tweet about it, made a difference, even if it was a small one.

What most people don’t know is that there are a lot of questions behind the “Kony 2012” video and the creators of that video along with the organization itself.

At times, people weren’t looking at the facts surrounding what is actually happening in Uganda, they weren’t researching for themselves whether or not what they are hearing is true or not. This issue caused a media frenzy and soon enough the media was pulling out facts that the public was too ignorant about. I am definitely not saying that one side is right and one side is wrong but there are always two sides to every story.

Let me get to the point: the public gets carried away with things that are hyped about the most and don’t try to interpret matter for themselves. It seems as if they believe everything and anything they hear on these social media websites.

Now, the founders of the viral “Kony 2012” video released a video called “Kony 2012: Part II – Beyond Famous” hoping it will eventually seek as much fame as the previous and continue to promote the fight against this warlord. However, upon their April 5th, 2012 release, they only managed to get 1.7 million views by April 16th, which is less than 5% of what they got the first 5 days with the original video. However, the second campaign is still considered to be good compared to other projects of the same nature. The only bad part is that it failed to be a major trending topic on social media sites. Some people like to consider the “Kony 2012” campaign as a bandwagon because people that are supporting it are simply going with the flow; they are just following what the majority is doing without learning more about it themselves.

Those are some negatives but here are some more positives. These social media sites get more and more users all the time, therefore it’s great for companies to advertise on and it is a good way to communicate with one another. You don’t have to roll into town anymore to catch up with someone anymore; now you can search them through Facebook or even Skype with them.

Seems as if the Internet is the best place for everything ranging from calling, chatting, video messaging, posting information and it keeps getting better. Schools now depend on the Internet for almost everything they do: teachers email us reminders about work, homework assignments are posted online, you turn essays or homework in online. It seems as if nothing is official until the world knows about. What better way is there to update information then to do it through the Internet?

There are a couple jokes about what the value of the Internet will be in a couple of years or maybe even sooner since it only takes a couple of days for millions of people to catch onto information.

Instead of kissing the bride after the Priest says “I now pronounce you husband and wife,” the new generation updates their Facebook status instead!

There is one that goes like this: “Be thankful for Facebook. The way gas prices are headed… we may NEVER actually see each other AGAIN!”

Here’s a “Smart Idea: If you lose something in your room, take a picture of your room, post it on Facebook and play ‘I Spy.’”

Also, people put almost all aspects of their life on Facebook and Twitter for everyone to see! Another couple of teases people have about social media sites are:

“When people get in a fight with their boyfriend/girlfriend, they change their relationship status from “In a Relationship” to “It’s Complicated” or “Single.” You don’t see me changing my status from “In a Family” to “Orphan” when I get in a fight with my parents.”
OR,

When you told someone you are going to bed to end a conversation with them, but you don’t actually go to sleep and then you have to stop yourself from posting or liking something on Facebook!

Another clever crack people make is, “Person with WISE Facebook Status, Y U NO MAKE SMART CHOICES IN REAL LIFE?”

Even though these jokes provide a comic relief from the importance of Internet, the fact is that Facebook and other media sites have such important that in a couple of years, you won’t even need a high school reunion to see all the people you knew back in the day because it’s so easy to find them on Facebook and with just one click from both sides you become friends! Statistics show that 57% of people talk more online than they do or would normally online.

This makes me believe that the verdict is out! Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are the actual “meeting” place for many people in the world and its importance now and in the future can actually be more than what we might want to believe.





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