Taking action via social media sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap. Some people even call it slacktivism. However, we think there are some great ways you can engage in digital advocacy from the comfort of your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat profiles.
Social media can be a powerful way to quickly spread the word when action is needed on key issues. You can share petitions, fundraising links, event notices for protest marches, and other calls to action. You can also use social media to amplify voices and ideas, sharing and liking the posts of others to make sure that even more folks see them. This is especially important for marginalized communities and individuals who may not yet have a large audience of support. Lastly, social media is also a great way for folks who experience barriers to physical participation (limited mobility, social anxiety, etc.) to still be present in the fight.
Ready to take action through social media? Here are some ways to get going:
- Start conversations. Ask questions of your friends, family, and followers. Create polls to gauge opinions. Encourage discourse and try to bust out of the echo chamber where everyone agrees with everyone else.
- Amplify voices. When someone writes or says something that you think is important, share it! Like, love, or follow them to make sure that your friends and family *also* have access to their message. Retweet, repost, and share powerful messages to spread the word. Just make sure that you always cite your source! Attribution is critical so don’t share the words of others without giving them credit.
- Post calls to action. Many organizations and social movements use social media tools to organize people and coordinate events. RSVP using social media tools and, if you’re the organizer, consider using social media as an organizing tool.
- Develop your voice. Got something to say? Start by sharing your ideas with your known and trusted audience on social media. Decide out what you believe, listen and learn from others, and then hone your message. Then call on your networks to amplify *your* voice.
- Take action. Sign petitions, donate funds (or start your own fundraisers), volunteer online. Social media is a platform. Use it!
One last note: Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people who identify as women - especially women of color, LGBTQIA folks, immigrants, religious minorities, and people with disabilities - to experience trolls and harassment online. As you consider how you'd like to take action using social media, here are a few resources to help you stay safe:
- "A DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity" by Noah Kelley (HACK*BLOSSOM)
- Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment - Feminist Frequency
- Zen and the Art of Making Tech Work for You - Gender and Tech Resources