Sources

What my sources do for my paper

A Mass Movement Before the Rise of Social Media

Since my movement took place in the 1960s (Anti-Vietnam War), the online platform was not a part of this movement. The internet was being invented around the same time that this movement was gaining support and strength, so the supporters of the movement had to find another way to spread their message. As I was doing research, I discovered that a big way that this anti-war movement spread and caught attention was through music. Since online platforms like Twitter, Facebook, news sites, etc. didn’t exist to spread a mass message quickly and to a lot of people, many popular artists spread the word through their songs. Some examples of these artists are Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe and the Fish, Bob Dylan, and John Lennon. Many of these artists were prominent figures and constantly had attention from the press as well, which also helped to spread their message.

This particular movement has ended, but there have been many other peace protests and anti-war protests since then, such as the anti-Iraq War demonstrations. Since this movement has ended, I think the purpose of my website will be more to provide information about this historical movement more than trying to get people to join a particular movement/belief. In order to portray a comprehensive view of this movement, I want to incorporate a lot of media into my website. I’m planning to embed multiple videos of popular anti-war songs so the audience can see how music was used heavily as a political tool at the time. It’s quite different to the way music is now. I’m also going to map out this movement in a timeline with pictures so the audience can easily visualize the process of the anti-Vietnam War movement. My website will also include multiple pages focusing on different parts of the movement (Purpose, About, Cause, etc.) so that the information is well-organized and easy to browse through. WordPress also has a helpful tool called Text Widget which allows you to add text or HTML to the sidebar of your site. I was thinking I could use this tool to add links to related resources or links to my other pages.

Although the online platforms were not used at the time of this movement, I can use the accessibility and interactivity of online platforms in order to inform my audience of this particular movement in history.

Destigmatizing Mental Illness on College Campuses

stop-the-stigma-of-mental-illness-e1381250784828After researching the mental health movement and starting to build my website, I’ve realized just how important online platforms are. Specifically with the mental health movement on college campuses, and the need to create a welcoming space for all, an online platform reaches people who may be struggling in silence. Online pages allow shy people or those ashamed of their struggle to step out, voice their opinions, and get help.

The organization that I want to focus my website on is Active Minds (and their chapters at universities across the country) because they have a large online platform. This platform includes their website and various social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. Active Minds uses their social media pages to post quotes, messages, videos, and links to articles in the hopes of educating all about mental health and the need to destigmatize it. This is an effective way of getting the message out because college students are used to scrolling through their social media news feeds and seeing pictures, quotes, and articles to browse. I want to post similar links and pictures on my website homepage, because they are both relatable and will capture the attention of viewers, leading them to further discover my website. The Active Minds website is easy to navigate due to its site map, which gives links to the website’s main features like the homepage, the organization’s background, media, and information on the current chapters. This layout is helpful for viewers on the Active Minds website because they can easily find out why and when the organization was established (2003) as well as how to get involved under the “take action” tab. The “take action” tab includes an interactive map that shows which universities have a current chapter, including UD.

I want my website to be utilize organized tabs on the homepage and include many links, making it easy and enjoyable to explore. I wish to emulate the Active Mind’s website by including the story of how they were established/their mission, along with mental health statistics on college campuses under an “about” tab which can be found directly on the homepage. I also want to include a “why” tab which discusses why it’s important to accept mental illness for what it is and stop making it this unspeakable issue which deters people from getting help. I will also include a “how you can help” tab which lists the many chapters that exist across the country as well as the necessary contact info. In contrast to the Active Minds website, I wish to include shorter bursts of information/bullet points rather than long paragraphs because college viewers prefer quick information, and will be more likely to continue to explore my website if they are attracted immediately.

 

Black Lives Matter

Social media plays a critical role in spreading news and raising awareness in today’s society.  Online platforms are a great way to get information out for multiple reasons.  For one, social media is easily accessible for those with laptops and phones, and it can reach a huge variety of people.  This whole movement really started to gain attention from social media when the founders tweeted #BlackLivesMatter and the tweets went viral.  Other hashtags like #HandsUpDontShoot and #SayHerName were also relevant to this campaign and are examples of how social media helped gain awareness for this movement.  Using a website for my movement will be incredibly beneficial because it is a more effective way to get certain photos and videos out that will help demonstrate the problem Black Lives Matter works against and in a more creative way.  For example, I plan on incorporating a video that maps out all the events that Black Lives Matter participated in and protested at.  Being able to have a video as opposed to just words adds some variety to how a reader receives information in contrast to just giving a flyer out on the street. I plan on incorporating videos, statistics, photos, and personal stories to my website.  It is nice that this type of platform allows all of these things to be incorporated in one place so that it can all be easily viewed and linked to one another.  I am hoping my website will be interactive, visually appealing and with the use of images and videos, has an effect on the viewer that they recognize the issue of this movement.  I want to cover the problem, the solution, how others can help, how the movement started, groups such as Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter, and why this is an issue in today’s society.  My website will include the sides of Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter to give the perspective of people who are not fully in support of Black Lives Matter.  Hopefully my website will easily display the issue at hand and allow the viewer to get all the relevant information they would need in order to take this issue seriously.  All in all, using a website as a platform allows news to spread faster and therefore movements to gain more followers and momentum as opposed to standing out on a campus trying to gather support, or sending out mail.  In a world that is so dependent on social media, using it as a platform for a cause is one of the most effective ways to garner support.

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Social Media Builds(?) Healthy Minds

Online platforms and social media are very important for the mental health movement because both the problem and the solution are spread through the Internet. For example, the ideologies of the “pro-ana” movement, a counter movement to the mental health movement that promotes anorexia as a lifestyle, is spread through blogs and photos. Here is an example:

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On the other hand, it is very easy to spread awareness of the mental health problem to many people with the use of online platforms and social media. For example, Active Minds, a college-centered foundation that reduces the stigma of mental health, has a website, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a Pinterest site, and a YouTube channel. Each of these social media sites are used differently; for example, the YouTube channel has videos about mental health, the Pinterest site has inspirational photos promoting a positive mental health, and the Twitter account has statistics about mental health. On Pinterest, Active Minds has different boards for different topics that allow users to browse the topics they are interested in. On the main website, Active Minds has a central column for current news, different pages for different resources, and side bars dedicated to helping the readers get involved. In general, the front page has previews of information found in the pages, and users can read more in depth by clicking on individual pages.

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I want to format my blog a similar way to document the mental health movement. I will break my blog into the follow three pages: “Definition,” “Examples,” and “Conclusions”. On the “Definition” page, I will give background on the movement and provide statistics so that readers unfamiliar with the topic will understand the issue. On the “Examples” page, I will document the mental health movement at different colleges. On the “Conclusions” page, I will evaluate the success of the movement. Similar to the Active Minds website, on the front page, there will be boxes with previews of the information from each of the pages. My page will be useful both to users who know little and to users who know a lot about the movement. Individuals of different knowledge levels can customize their experience on my blog by reading the different pages.