America is known as the land of freedom and opportunity. People come from all over the world in order to peruse a better life and to obtain freedom from oppression and social injustices. We are taught in school that our job as citizens of one of the most prominent nations of the world is to uphold that ideal of the American Dream. We learn about how our forefathers fought hard to create the greatest nation on Earth. How they battled during the Revolution to gain freedom from the tyrannical England that was taxing us unfairly and giving us no representation in government. Then we learn about the Civil War, where Abraham Lincoln fought to keep the union and our great nation together, while abolishing the injustice of slavery. Our constitution defines all men as being equal and we have founded a nation based on the principals of these great men who helped to form our country. We are taught to see America as the superhero of all nations, defending freedom and battling oppression. Our nation has definitely gone through many changes since it’s conception, and now our idea of how we engage in civic duties and our participation in the government of our country must change with it.
We are now living in a digital world that is beyond the wildest dreams of our forefathers. Our ability to interact and connect with others has magnified. The online world allows people to share ideas instantly. We build communities not only with where we live, but within the digital world that we inhabit. Social Media has been a huge influence on inciting social change. The hashtag movement on Twitter has allowed for the organization of like minded people to share their experiences and ideas across the world. The #BlackLivesMatter, #Metoo, and #Takeaknee, are just a few examples of groups that have organized to broadcast about an injustice. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube, and many others also offer a platform of sharing pictures, videos, and ideas and having those reach out to huge amounts of audiences. They say that a picture speaks a thousand words, and social media allows those words to not only be spoken, but shouted out. Now with the remixing of images we are able to add even more meaning and significance to a photo. Likewise, literature, music, and movies also have the ability to reference important social issues. Digital media has become a bridge that connects the American people to major social inequalities. It is a way of connecting in a way that we were never able to before. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “we must all hang together, or most assuredly, we will all hang separately”. Digital media has offered us the ability to bring us all together under a common cause. Through this unity we can all work together in achieving a country that completely promotes the #AmericanDream.