I’ve seen so many posts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter about political change, about injustice, about wars happening in other countries and what we can do to help.
It’s been a nice change from the usual pictures of avocado toast (very guilty) and people going about their everyday lives.
Now what I’m seeing are pictures of protests, links to sign petitions, posts showing what books and TV shows we can read and watch to educate ourselves and most of all, informative posts highlighting injustice and current problems happening all over the world.
The past few weeks and months have made me think about how I use social media and in what ways I can use it for the better. How can I be an activist for change when I think my voice isn’t loud enough or my platform influential enough?
There are many small things that we can all to do help the world around us. I’ve made a list of five things that you can do, yes you, no matter if you’re sitting in a small town in the UK or if you’re working in the White House.
We can all be activists.
1. SIGN PETITIONS
An easy way to start your activism is by signing petitions that feel strongly about on change.org, among others.
I have a long list of petitions in regards to the Black Lives Matter protests that were taking place a few weeks ago that you can find here, if you want to get started there.
Petitions that reach a certain number of signatures have to be discussed in parliament, no matter what they are about – so get signing!
If you feel like getting out there and joining others to raise voices and make people take notice, then get out and protest. With the current pandemic situation, I wouldn’t advise gathering in large groups, but if you feel that’s how you want to contribute, then do what you have to do.
The recent protests that have taken place all over the world and especially in America, have shown that protests work.
So many things have come from the protests and the petitions in the cases of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. Those that have the power are taking notice and they are being forced to do what is right and convict the people that have done wrong.
We are stronger together and we are stronger in numbers. Raise your voice, take to the streets and fight for what you believe is right.
3. USE YOUR PLATFORMS
Use your social media. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of your friends or people that you follow posting a lot about racial injustice and inequality recently and although you may skip past these stories on your Instagram feed or the tweets on your Twitter feed, the vast amount of them should trigger something in you.
And if you were to add to this noise and this conversation, then it could cause some of your own followers to pause and actually take note of the content.
Educate and push out these messages to the people that follow you, even if it is only the people you went to school with, met once on a night out or your next door neighbour. Don’t fear being embarrassed or the judgement of people that follow you.
If they unfollow, they unfollow. You’re fighting for a greater cause, so bye Felicia to those that don’t like it.
4. EDUCATE YOURSELF
There are so many ways to educate yourself about what goes on in the world; read the news, scroll through Twitter, watch on Snapchat heat-maps, Google, magazines, books, I can go on forever.
Read some of the many, many books that are out there, watch TV shows, documentaries and movies. By not educating yourself on social injustice, you are turning a blind eye and pretending it doesn’t exist.
That’s your privilege. Aren’t we lucky that we don’t constantly live in fear? Or poverty? Or at risk of war?
5. START SMALL
Like I said at the beginning, it doesn’t matter if you are currently living in a village populated by 300 people, or are the assistant to the Prime Minister. Anybody can change things that they don’t like.
Start small. Educate those around you – your family and your social circle. Educate them on what’s happening around the world and how they can do something to help change that. Change the things that they think is ok to say, how they think and how they just brush off the hardships not impacting them.
Start small by signing a petition and then sharing it with your friends or on social media. Start small by reading a book or watching a documentary and then sharing this with your friends and family (I made my parents sit down and watch Now They See Us when it came out last year).
Think local, act global. Start small, act big.