online activism

In defence of online activism

Would you call yourself an activist? If you asked me that question, I think I would say I’m dipping my toe in the water, discovering my passions and getting more vocal about them – especially online.

This is what I want to talk about today – online activism. Some people have a bit of a problem with it, believing it can’t create real change and that some people post about campaigns to look like they’re ‘good people’ rather than because they actually believe in it (this is apparently called ‘virtue signalling’).

And while I’m not on board with those who don a feminist T-shirt to simply follow a trend rather than make a statement…


I believe online activism and the rise of young people getting involved with activism can only be a good thing.


 

online activism 3

For starters, if it wasn’t for people using the Internet to spread campaigns and messages, I don’t think I would have seen half of the inspiring campaigns as I have. Being able to witness speeches and marches from around the world is eye opening.

Secondly, it’s a great place for people like me to start. I have always had pretty strong beliefs about certain subjects, but with Trump’s rise to power and the Brexit debate rumbling in the background, these beliefs have been solidified, galvanised and echoed by my peers.


Suddenly, staying quiet doesn’t seem like an option.


When there are people shouting opposing views and making, frankly terrifying decisions about our future, those beliefs that sat dormant rise to the surface, boiling over in a sea of rant-y blogs, tweets and petition signings.

I have seen several protests and marches I wanted to go along to recently, but I haven’t taken that step yet. I’m not a huge fan of crowds, loud noises, general commotion and while I know this is all part of the atmosphere – is it so wrong to want to stay home and support online? I don’t think so.

For some people, using the Internet is the only way they feel able to support a cause and surely that’s worth something. I know I DO want to do more, join protests and marches and I know that’s where this journey is taking me. I’m seeing so many incredible people taking a stand and campaigning for change, inspiring a whole new generation of changemakers and yeah – I want to be part of that.

Right now though, I feel like I’m stretching my muscles in the online space – and that’s OK too. If you want to join me, here are some ways to join the online activism movement:

online activism 2

Through your blog / vlog

Remember, a huge part of activism is spreading a message, so if you have a captive audience through a blog or vlog, use it as a platform to spread your message. Talk about your passions, share resources with your followers and speak up.

Through social media

This is where most online activism takes place. A simple hashtag can carry a huge amount of power. Twitter is where I see the most campaigning and it really provides the perfect place to share your passions. RT causes you care about, explain your views, be brave. There’ll always be people who disagree, but if you’re passionate enough about something, keep going.

Through petitions

This is an easy way to show a campaign support and where change feels really tangible. Change.org is a great place to start and make sure you share the petition after to get more signatures and results!

People / movements / articles to inspire you

The Pink Protest

Illustration by co-founder of The Pink Protest, Alice Skinner

The Pink Protest (these amazing ladies are paving the way for the next generation, I especially love their video on the power of online activism)

Nina Donovan (I dare you to listen to Estee LaLonde’s podcast episode on protests and not be inspired)

Black Lives Matter (the way this organisation use social media is amazing, this article goes into more detail looking at the power and limitations of social media)


So yes, some people may scoff at online activists but to me, it feels like the spark of something. These are small actions in a digital world that are lighting a fuse in the real world. And this fuse will eventually blow up, leaving everyone in awe.


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In defence of online activism

2 thoughts on “In defence of online activism

  1. Sophie says:

    This couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been speaking out more on twitter about animal rights/welfare and recently started a “bunny friendly favourites” series on my blog. I was filled with anxiety and still am, worrying people will see me as an “activist”… as if it’s a bad thing?! I think some older people in my life have spoken negatively about it, but why should that stop me? If you aren;’t living by your values, you’re not living. Thank-you for writing this ❤

    Bumble and Be

    Liked by 1 person

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