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Social Media Increases Political Participation, Decreases Longevity of Efforts

Cape Fear Museum
Sanitation Workers Assembling for a Solidarity March, Memphis, March 28, 1968.

For All The World to See is currently on display at the Cape Fear Museum.  The nationally touring exhibit examines how the media impacted the Civil Rights movement.  But how is media — including social media — impacting race relations today? 

Dr. CharmaineMcKissick-Melton is a professor of mass communication at North Carolina Central.  She says social media is helping students organize, and quickly—Black Lives Matter protests can be planned in an hour with a few Twitter and Facebook posts.  But she’s noticed that this fast-paced media leads to a sense of impatience in her college students: 

“They feel a need for immediacy because of this whole thing of a news cycle.  I mean, you know it’s 24 hours, 48 hours, however long it might be.  And so, I think they even sometimes feel that about how to resolve issues – like, ‘How come that didn’t get done, like, you know, two weeks ago?’ – when we older people, I think, do realize it’s going to take a long time for things to change.  It’s also going to take being a part of the political process.  You know, it takes dialogue with people who have differences.”

The exhibit is on display until January 7th.