OPEN MIC: Social Media and Global Connectivity

Laura Brewer, Online Marketing, discusses “global” social media  and how you can join GFI’s digital discourse…

In this era of Arab Spring, Olympic controversy, and “social media presidencies”, Social Media is one of the most talked-about phenomena of our time. I say phenomena because, well, what is it really?

It can feel like an ever-changing, highly accessible force in our lives: a force that can lead to obsession, laughter, understanding, misunderstanding, boredom, even revolution. Its much bigger than the sum of its digital parts, much more important than the individual channels, feeds, boards, or pages viewed.

An Instagram shot from our August Happy Hour!

Social media is inherently interested in the idea of  ”global”. It transcends geography and sometimes language. It allows previously quieted voices to speak. Stories and recipes and opinions can be shared by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Like film, social media provides completely digestible insight into cultures for anyone who will listen. And, most importantly, it opens avenues for dialogue.

Our aim at GFI is to create global understanding, cultural empathy and connectivity through film. We help people take initiative and change the way they see the world. We often talk about the transformative power of film and its ability to take the viewer to another place, time, or culture. Our Global Public and Cinema in the Schools programs promote dialogue about global issues. Time and time again, we go back to this idea of “global.”

Like Albanian film AMNESTY, a pin from our Around the World board on Pinterest helps you see the country in a new way!

Social media was originally introduced as an incredible way to connect with others. It still is, but one of the most interesting aspects of this information revolution is the ability to curate one’s own understanding of the world. We’re bombarded with articles, pictures, and videos from around the world, and we as users choose what to absorb. We follow certain blogs or Twitter accounts based on our interests. Though notions of a highly influential “Media” still persist, it’s easier than ever to bypass the mainstream for the independent. For the first time, we’re able to educate ourselves and see the world how we choose to, all with, quite literally, the touch of a button.

As GFI expands our online presence, we hope for discourse. We invite you to be more than just consumers of information, invitations, and promotions. Use social media for truly global connectivity by engaging on a deeper level; ask questions, review films and events, share how our programs have affected you. We are genuinely curious.

Connect with the Global Film Initiative below and join the dialogue. We hope to hear from you!

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Laura Brewer joined the Global Film Initiative staff after most recently working in Seattle’s film and music industries with such arts organizations as the Seattle Office of Film + Music and the Seattle International Film Festival, as well as freelancing as a writer and documentary producer. She has a B.A. in English and in Media Studies with a minor in Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago.

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