The Click Moment
Rumor rumor on your wall…what inspires you to click? What prompts you to pass something on? These are some of the mysteries of viral media. While much Internetwork buzz activity spins jokes, tabloid shots, music links and LOL kitties, there have been many, many instances of major and mini viruses that provide enough crowd-sourced “click moments” or “aha moments” to garner significant social change. Media inventions have often played a key role in collective shifts in awareness.
These images provided definitive evidence of the horror of slavery, which, combined with books like Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin to turn the tide among whites to garner enough votes in Congress to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865, which states “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Similarly, television played a pivotal role in the click moment of the Civil Rights Movement. When thousands marched on Washington in 1963 to hear Martin Luther King Jr.’s seminal “I Have a Dream” speech, all three major networks broadcast the speech live. The peaceful gathering of 250,000–the largest in U.S. history–demonstrated with undeniable visuals that the moment had come to pass the Civil Rights Act.
Many, including Bill McKibben of 350.org, recently arrested in front of the White House to protest the Tar Sands pipeline, now believe we have reached the same moment in the Environmental Movement, that this is our generation’s “Civil Rights Moment”. The Internet has afforded us access to more information, more power as citizen influencers and journalists, yet taking to the streets in droves may be the next phase of the shift from an oil and gas economy to a renewable energy one.
Here’s is a clip from the recently Emmy-awarded documentary, Gasland, which has its own eye-opening click moment: