Thoughts 2/21

“Reflect on a time when you were part of an event (on the Internet) that was trying to establish social capital. Given our class discussion, how do you think that event could’ve been improved or gone better?”

The most recent social capital event that I remember partly participating online for was a #blacklivesmatter protest in Paris when I was studying abroad there last quarter. I heard about the event because I was invited, and felt compelled to stand in solidarity for what was happening back home in America.

The primary mode of communication I had for this event was through a Facebook event page. It was organized by a few people (they were the administers of the event page) and they informed us of the schedule and logistics of the demonstration during the hours leading up to the event.

Because this is a demonstration, some of the characteristics that we talked about in class that stood out immediately for me were “promoting good, preventing evil,” activist, and public. However, I felt like this event was lacking in mutual assistance. I understand that for big organized events like these there inevitably are leaders and organizers. However, when they posted photos of the signs that we should hold up during the demonstrations, a question that came across my mind was why they didn’t allow us to contribute as well to making signs. I believe my questions comes from a reciprocal perspective, and I had wanted to feel more integral to this event than just a random individual who went for the sake of it. From the organizers’ perspective, I feel like this mutual assistance would have greatly helped them as well as they were given the responsibility of creating signs and contacting news channels and updating Facebook at the same time. Through an event as grassrooted as a demonstration, it seemed to me that they didn’t take advantage of how willing a lot of people were in helping towards make this event happen.