As we have continuously discussed, the media undoubtedly holds a great power over the thoughts and opinions of our current society. With up-to-the minute news stories and a variety of manipulative videos circling the digital world, it is not at all difficult for our ideals to be swayed because of this constant propaganda that looms around us.
Kony 2012 , has undoubtedly become the viral sensation of our generation. The video serves not only as a way to raise awareness about the Ugandan conflicts, but also seems to serve as a promotional tool for Invisible Children. As much as I hate to admit it, I, myself, was unfortunately one of those ‘Americans’ that was initially quite unaware of the multiple conflicts revolving around Uganda, The LRA, and Joseph Kony. It was only until after the start of this recent Kony 2012 uproar, that I began to look more closely into the numerous issues that have already been, unfortunately, going on for a while now.
It’s been a while now since the video originally surfaced and, as with most public frenzies, all the hype has began to die slowly down. Along with Jason Russell’s psychological breakdown, the multiple criticisms for and against the video’s initial message have unfortuantely put the video in a rather unwanted negative light. The influence of the viral hit has, without a doubt, drawn in an immense amount of public participation. And despite the ongoing controversies, the continuous online pledge signs, action kit purchases, and promotions for ‘Cover the Town’ on most social media sites, seems to revive Invisible Children’s hopes for public awareness and engagement.
I can’t help but say that the extraordinary partcipation (from both the young and the old) that Kony 2012 has drawn from today’s youth really puts a smile on my face. Today’s youth, unfortunately, have not been the best followers of any sort of meaningful social action, and it was rather inspiring to see that some of us still engage ourselves in worthy attempts to better the world. Our works within the campaign brought out the hopeful child in me, and I honestly do hope that despite the recent flux in actual involvement, we will continue towards the goal that Invisible Children has been aiming for.
That being said, with just a couple of weeks before ‘Cover the Town,’ a part of me remains a bit skeptical about how many people will actually involve themselves on April 20. Because of the various ordeals it has caused, the viral hit seems to have quickly changed the minds of a once dedicated majority. If truly thought about, it only requires a hassle-free amount of mouse clicks to ‘get involved’ in the campaign. From the comfort of our own homes, this sort of social action can be easily done. And a tiny, more cynical part of me truly wonders how many of us will actually leap out of our seats to do something on 4/20. Yes, the Kony 2012 campaign did draw in millions of viewers all around the world. But some important questions should be asked– How many of us will continue our adamant commitment to the cause? How many of us ‘got involved’ because it was the right thing to do, and how many of us took some action only because almost everyone else was doing it? In a sense, April 20 may begin to answer that question…