1/30/17

Activism behind the screen: five ways to get involved.



There are a million causes to get involved with; causes to feel passionate about, and sometimes it can feel like you don't have the resources (energy, financial, time, etc.), to contribute in the way you want to, or feel like you should. Or maybe you live in a really red state, and it's hard to find any groups to get involved with. Perhaps, like me, your anxiety sometimes gets in the way. Whatever your reasons, it's all okay. There are plenty of ways to get involved, without even leaving your house. The power of social media, and the internet as a whole is inspiring, but sometimes undervalued. So I put together this quick list of five ways you can get involved online. While it might not feel like direct action, every little movement can create a crack, and together we can make a difference.

1. Follow inspiring people. This one might seem silly, but trust me it's not. Following people who are out on the front lines, can inspire and motivate. It keeps you engaged with what is happening and helps to get the word out. You might not always be able to go out and participate in a particular action or cause, but you can stay informed.

2. Participate in social media campaigns. They might seem useless, or like a bunch of noise, but they are important noise. They signal to others that they aren't alone in what they care about. They help to create momentum and shine a spotlight on a cause or issue. People notice when something is trending - it gives exposure. It helps to engage more people and to create a larger conversation. It can lead to greater organizing. Social media has proven to us time and time again, that it is a powerful tool. Look at the Project for Awesome that happens every year for example!

3. Be kind. Be compassionate. The internet is full of a lot of hate. Make it more welcoming. Pay someone a compliment. Add a kind word to an Instagram post or reply to a twitter feed. There is a lot to get passionate, or worried about in our current world, try and lighten the load by making online communities more inclusive and constructive!

4. Make calls. When representatives or activists call for making calls over a particular issue, make them. Flood those phone lines!!

5. Subscribe to good news media. Support journalism. It's no secret that we now live in a society in which journalism is under scrutiny. Support good journalism by subscribing to their publications and engaging with them on social media. We need these organizations to tell the honest stories! The New Yorker, The New York Times, and NPR are great places to start! If you've got others - please share them in the comments!!

I kept this list short and sweet on purpose. I wanted to make a list that felt manageable no matter your situation. Think of it as a starting point!

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