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Can the world be changed in 140 characters or less?

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

When controversies and social causes hit the headlines, many take to their computers to voice their opinions; however, research shows it may all be in vain.

We set out to answer the question: Can we really change the world in 140 characters or less?  Or, does a picture really invoke the passion needed to affect change in our society?

By looking at your timeline on social media sites, it may seem like some believe the revolution won't be televised; it'll be Facebooked.

"Just writing something is enough to them. Like, I've done my part. I've put in my tithe. I've played my role," Columbus State University assistant Communications professor Doctor Chris McCullough says.

According to McCullough, although monotony on timelines may be annoying for some, the conversation is good for society.

"I certainly think it raises salience and it certainly puts it in dialogue. That's a good first step," says McCullough.

What about the second step? Does changing your profile picture to a black box to honor slain teen Trayvon Martin, or a pink equal sign to support human rights really make a difference?

McCullough explains research says it's simply not enough.

"In the 30's and 40's, you'll have social scientists wanting to see if mass media had that massive pervasive impact you would expect. What they figured out by 1960 was not really. It's not as simple as tweeting out 140 characters or [posting] a picture," explains McCullough.

The issues have to affect an individual on a personal level to motivate them to act.

"I realized I want to see change in my city so I started with myself," Young Minority Leaders President Marquese Averett exclaims.

The 23 year-old says he's moving from behind the monitor and keyboard onto the streets of Columbus.

"I think that demonstrations are what got us to where we are right now. I think it's a slap in the face to all those who have marched to say that those things do not work," says Averett.

Averett believes it does not matter what a person is marching for, whether it is healthcare reform, civil rights, or immigration reform. The key is to stand up for what you believe in, not simply type it.

"I feel that in order for us to truly make a difference just going on Facebook, going on Instagram, and just going on Twitter it's not enough," Averett declares.

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