Recently, a tragic death in Minnesota has brought many like-minded people together. George Floyd, an unarmed black man, slowly suffocated in broad daylight under the knee of now-fired police officer Derek Chauvin. This abhorrent injustice has sparked worldwide outrage. As protests spread around the globe, many interest groups are demanding immediate action against police brutality.
One such group is using SMS to share information and make a difference in this vital movement — The MoveOn Campaign. By texting “Justice” to 668366, people can subscribe to receive information via SMS about the fight for justice for George Floyd and for the Black Lives Matter Movement as a whole. Subscribers receive a link to a petition demanding accountability for the other complicit police officers and the latest updates on the legal situation surrounding Floyd’s death. This example, while tragic in its necessity, illustrates the power of modern communication tools to connect, unite, and empower people with a common goal.
How Modern Communication Tools Foster Connection
It has become commonplace for people with strong opinions and views to express them online. Open forums that allow us to share perspectives, find camaraderie in fighting for our deepest beliefs as mentioned above, and simply trade ideas on a mass scale are luxuries of our modern world.
Before technological advances such as the internet and social media, like-minded individuals met together in person, spoke over the phone, or exchanged letters via the postal service. Having so few ways to interact with peers is now a thing of the past.
Today, one can connect with others in ways previous generations couldn’t imagine. For example, a retro action figure aficionado in Japan can join a French toy forum and connect with people who share the same passion with just a few clicks of a mouse. Even having access to a smartphone camera can singularly project an impactful image globally. This was evident in the case of George Floyd when a courageous, young bystander videoed Floyd’s death and shared it with the world. This makes interpersonal connectivity huge and more powerful than it’s ever been.
The Relevance of Text Messaging in a Connected & Changing World
Not only do people connect faster and easier than in the past, the world is changing more rapidly than ever before, especially in the United States of America. People with similar ideologies connecting digitally has led to strong opinions, oppositions, and significant current events on an unprecedented scale.
SMS messaging plays a strong role in these connections. Interest groups use texting platforms to reach and interact with their members and promote their cause as noted above. Why? Because text messaging is familiar, ubiquitous, and fast. By simply texting a keyword to a short number, like-minded individuals subscribe to receive updates on legislation, links to petitions, information on the next protest location, and even coordinate and communicate during protests and other forms of activism. SMS leveraged to this effect can serve as a channel not only to keep like-minded individuals in the know, but to help them achieve their objectives.
Text Messaging Versus Other Digital Channels
Vital information concerning one’s deeply held beliefs typically carries a sense of urgency. People dedicated to a common cause can’t afford to risk missing out. Text messaging may be your best bet to send and receive important information about your cause. A social media post might get overlooked, an email might get junked, even a voicemail might go unheard.
A text message, however, will be read and quickly. A study conducted by Mobilesquared research firm concluded that 90% of people read a text message within the first 3 minutes. The ability to connect so quickly with such a high percentage can make all the difference when quick communication and coordination are paramount. Not only can you get information to your group, but possibly help keep them out of harm’s way while they fight for their deepest held convictions as in the case of Justice for George Floyd and Black Lives Matter.
Black lives matter. TextMarks supports racial equality and justice. We share this post today hoping to shed light on the empowering technology of text messaging that those who are effecting positive change in the world might use to amplify their message and bring about a more just and equitable world.