“For the best of social media”: The Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards. I almost thought they were a joke when I first came upon them. Anyone can tweet in a nominee for any of the 6,067 categories, including “Keep Good Going” and “Weird”. Although I do not dismiss the impact social media can have, these awards exemplify many of the reasons why true activism and revolutions cannot purely happen through social media.


First off, the number of categories is mind-boggling and anyone can create another one. There are so many that the “awards” begin to lose their meaning. This is representative of the number of pages dedicated to so many causes. Many of them could be grouped together and have a more united front, but instead everyone wants recognition.

Recognition. Everyone wants an award. Social media is a wonderful platform for people who want to constantly be acknowledged for their “activism”. Activism isn’t always about making a statement to a huge crowd, but it’s also about the small decisions in everyday life. The Internet is connecting people to the trendy, global issues but the close-to-home issues often get left behind. After all, there’s not enough people in your community to reach 50 million likes.

Social media can be a great tool to connect activists and to raise awareness, but it should not be used as a cop out to take physical action. We need to stop worrying about the world hearing every cause we like or every issue we want to share. We are losing connections with the issues and the people that surround us everyday, because we are constantly bombarded by bigger and badder problems somewhere else.

And don’t feel like you need to win an award, because it’s not that special when there are 6,000+ out there.



2 responses to ““For the best of social media”: The Shorty Awards

  • dthunell

    Out of the awards they highlighted on the home page, I was impressed and disappointed at the same time. Like you said, when there are 6000+ awards they start to lose their luster, especially with awards named Best “Fake Account.” But I was really happy that they highlighted the awards for best “Activism”, “Education,” “Green” & “Teen Activism” accounts.

    I thought they really missed the boat with the Best “Kickstarter” award going to the Veronica Mars movie. It seems like these awards are more silly than they are serious, I hope I’m wrong, but it does show that people are connecting with each other and good things can come from Internet activism. I’m sure the number of awards will continue to expand over the next few years & hopefully activists in education, green energy & other fields will continue to work hard & grow.

  • briannasteinmetz

    After having reviewed the website I am confused as to what the point of the awards are. Do they hold any value and recognition if there are so many categories? People argue that it is better than the Oscars or similar to a Noble Peace Prize; however, I am unsure how this is possible. Who determines who wins and by what merits?

    I agree with both of you that the concept behind the Shorty Awards is a great innovative idea as I believe that people should be recognized for their accomplishments in social media. However, i feel that by reworking the Shorty Awards and limiting the categories, it might be more successful.

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