Saturday, March 31, 2012

Opinions Finally Matter On Social Networks/Trayvon Martin Case

Recently twitter, a popular social network, made a huge accomplishment.

It all started with the death of a teenager during Allstar weekend in Orlando. The teenager, Trayvon Martin, was killed, by a self-proclaimed neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman. At the time the teen was walking home from a corner store and only had some tea and a bag of skittles in his hand. Because of a lack of witnesses from the night, what happened between the two is unknown. However, after the killing Trayvon, Zimmerman confessed to police and was sent home free of criminal charges. This senseless killing would have gone unknown if it wasn't for twitter.

Within a week of the killing people jumped on the topic to voice their opinions. Their opinions increased as new people discovered what had happened. Soon it became a trending topic. After a whole month of tweeting about this case CNN finally covered it. Within days of CNN's talk Trayvon's family had a lawyer, the local cops over the killing were being investigated, and federal cops were investigating this crime. After a little bit more time Zimmerman found himself a lawyer and went into hiding. As of now Zimmerman has still not been arrested, but everyone knows what he has done.

The opinions of this crime started with twitter. Then it spread to other social networks until news stations finally started covering it. However, if it wasn't for twitter this case would have disappeared.

I remember a time when I had so many thoughts going through my head, but no one to share them with. Then I discovered social networking. First it was Myspace and then Facebook. Before Facebook became a big ball of spam twitter showed it's pretty little face. All of these networks have created an outlet for people who never knew that had an outlet.

But it's rare that we realize how powering our words are. Usually we hop on these networks and talk about stuff that's not going to matter in five minutes. Topics like high school or college memories come up. We discuss food, sex, and how to incorporate food into sex. Recently I saw a topic where men were arguing about the importance or matching underwear on women. These topics usually die after a couple hours, but the words are powerful.

I don't know when it started. Maybe it was when people started live tweeting award shows. Then again it could have been the day a popular person decided to search their name on a social network instead of googling themselves. But our opinions finally matter. Just look at how far the Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman case has come.

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