As a musician and social justice activist, online social media has helped Maria Isa sell more CDs and mobilize the growing number of Latinos in her home city of Minneapolis.
Isa wasn’t surprised that a study published this summer said Hispanics are among the most active social media users.
“Social media is about accessibility for me,” Isa said. “I can send information to my audience with the push of a button on my cell. I’m able to expand my message of social justice in the Latino community and also my work and the works of others who network with me.”
There’s a growing online audience of people of color. Latinos and African Americans are more than twice as likely to use Twitter as white non-Hispanics, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.
Much of the reason? Cell phones. Nearly 90% of English speaking Hispanics use mobile devices. But New York Daily News columnist and author Juan Gonzalez said it’s an extension of Latino culture.
“I think there’s always been a tradition in the Latino culture, a tradition of word spreading news and information, gossip, word of mouth spreading, from family members to friends, neighbors of the same town or whatever,” Gonzalez said.
The growing number of Latinos using social media is a reflection of broader demographic change in the United States.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that America’s young people will become “minority white” in 2023, and by 2042, the same will be true for adults.
“The youth population in America already looks like America will look in a few years. The youth have a stronger identity in their role and purpose,” Gonzalez said. “They’re already acting out their new role in the country, even before they get to be adults. They’re already creating the new America through their involvement in social media.”
Source: Nick Valencia, CNN
Photo credit: Marshall Franklin Long (marshallfranklinlong.com)