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Ashley Stinson Instructor: Malcolm Campbell English 1102 10 February 2013 Topic Proposal: Social Media: The Ultimate Tool For Good Introduction/Overview I will be exploring the way social media may actually be the most effective tool for social justice causes. While it may seem that social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are simply a social means of the current generation, multiple sources suggest that they are having a much larger impact than that. One source stated, while Facebook has been available to the general public for a little more than four years, some 550 million peopleabout one out of every 14 people on Earthhave Facebook accounts. Facebooks part owner, Sean Parker, is responsible for the formation of an application on Facebook called Causes which is focused on social justice issues. The application allows all Facebook users to connect with causes around the globe, as well as to donate funds to their efforts. This alone means that around 550 million people have access to hundreds, if not thousands of organizations aimed at social good. I feel this is a much-overlooked aspect of social media, and one that deserves to be noticed. I started my preliminary research with UNCCs library databases, however, I was very unsatisfied with my search results. I found no articles pertaining specifically to my area of interest, but I may have not been using effective keywords. I then moved to Google for the rest of my research, rotating between simply searching my topic, and adding site:.edu to the search box. This is a technique I was taught in high school, and Ive found it to be very helpful when looking for creditable sites. The initial sites Ive used for my Topic Proposal are:

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-http://fourstory.org/features/story/social-media-and-social-justice-facebook-causes/ -http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-29/news/ct-met-civil-rights-summit20110129_1_social-media-social-justice-facebook-page

-http://www.npengage.com/social-media/9-social-media-for-social-good-sites-youshould-know-about/

This research has been helpful in securing my interest in this topic, but I plan to expand my search to scholarly journals, as well as outside sources. The idea has been one Ive pondered over before with peers and my parents; it resurfaced while looking over our topic list on Moodle. This initial research has taken my haunch of a stance, and formed a more arguable position. A key differentiation in opinion comes from different age groups. While older generations tend to be hesitant to rely on technology, many young people have been exposed to its various uses and benefits. People born before the Internet age may feel that person-to-person outreach is best; they may argue that a Facebook page raising funds for homelessness is not as affective as going out and working one-on-one with the homeless. Not only do different generations take a different stance on this topic, there are also distinctions in belief between the informed and uninformed. For example, while teens may universally accept the use of social media, they may not agree that it can be a tool for social good, simply because they are unaware.

Initial Inquiry Question(s) Is social media the current answer to effectively impacting social justice issues? Are people aware of the valuable resource before them social media? What sort of impact is possible through modern social media?

My Interest in this Topic

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In general, Ive always been very interested in many social justice issues, and how I can be a part of them. This topic specifically interested me when I heard about BeRemedy, a Twitter page (now non-profit) that is designed to meet needs of the community by fellow members of the community. I was introduced to BeRemedy at a youth conference called DoMore that was intended for youth who have a passion for social justice. I have been largely a part of the global water crisis through an organization I helped start called Cause 6000. Through all of this, Ive realized the impact social media can have, and Id like to be a part in spreading that mindset. Id also like to learn more about what others are doing, and about the success rate amongst online causes. Next Steps I will be firstly exploring many scholarly journals, searching for credible statistics and facts that I can use to support my argument. I would also like to get in contact with one or more successful online Causes (possibly BeRemedy), to find out how social media has helped further their cause. I am considering creating a student poll (for use at UNCC), where I will gather information from students, and learn what they know about this topic and if/how theyve used social media to support a cause.