by Jessica Koenigsberg
Many trends in 2014 became household names through social media outlets, but within months were forgotten.
The Bring Back Our Girls movement, sparked by the abduction of 273 school girls in Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorist group on April 15, flooded social media. The movement, which advocates equal access to education and protection for girls while at school, blew up Twitter feeds with #bringbackourgirls in early May, according to bringbackourgirls.us.
Four million tweets were posted with the hashtag, including posts from influential people like Michelle Obama. But, according to washingtonpost.com, twitter activity dropped from 488,000 tweets in early May to less than 7,000 tweets by late July. Despite endless retweets, none of the abducted students have been rescued, according to the huffingtonpost.com.
According to theguardian.com, “Hashtags are unlikely to lead to social change on their own—only real governmental pressure and action can do that.”
Similarly, the Ice Bucket Challenge, started to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis dominated Facebook timelines. Despite raising over $100 million this summer, an increase from $2.8 million in 2013, the ice bucket challenge lost popularity by fall, according to forbes.com.
Said senior Tom Rohwetter, “If somebody was to say ALS, people would obviously remember, but I don’t think it’s in the front of people’s minds anymore.”
Facebook had over 17 million video uploads of participants completing the challenge, and Youtube reported a record one billion views of ice bucket challenges nationwide before the trend disappeared, according to cbsnews.com.
Said Math and Computer Science Teacher Mr. Martin Maruschak, social media movements “become very popular all at once…. They become oversaturated and people get sick of them more quickly.”