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Going online can be empowering

  • by J.W.

“Listening to people who know what they’re talking about and can give you good information.” [Gemma Style]

“Clicktivism is a way of speaking out in a public online space.” [Oxford Uni politics blog]

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The impact of AI

Today’s announcement on the future of AI might give pause for thought: Risk of extinction by AI should be global priority, say experts | Artificial intelligence (AI) | The Guardian

One area of concern is the way in which AI shapes social media: AI Is About to Make Social Media Much More Toxic – The Atlantic and AI-Powered Social Media Could Play Significant Role In The 2024 Election

Its growing ‘toxicity’ and insidious influence is certainly a cause for concern when it comes to our mental health: Social Media May Be Affecting Your Mental Health. Here’s How to Tell – CNET and Social Media and Mental Health – HelpGuide.org

Here’s a very handy guide on how to manage social media and mental health: How to Tell if Social Media Is Harming Your Mental Health – Guides

Social media and empowerment

The constant online bombardment of environmental catastrophe certainly doesn’t help our mental health: What parents should know about eco-anxiety and its impact on today’s teens | KQED

On the other hand, going online can be empowering if done the right way.

Podcasting can be a very useful tool to deal with ecoanxiety, for example:

London-based Styles is best known for her podcast Good Influence – which has over 900k downloads – where she and her guests cover important topics such as mental health and feminism, and now she’s lending her voice to the first episode in a new environmental-focused series for Curio, called Planet For Tomorrow.

One of the topics she covers in her episode is eco-perfectionism. This is “the idea that you have to be a perfect environmentalist”, she explained, “And every decision you make has to be the best possible version of that decision at all times.“Community and realising other people feel the same way, and listening to people who know what they’re talking about and can give you good information, [that will help you realise] there is still a lot of hope out there.”

Podcaster and Harry’s sister Gemma Styles on how to deal with eco-anxiety | The Independent

‘Clicktavism’ can also be a very effective tool to counter anxiety:

Clicktivism is one of the most prevalent forms of contemporary political participation that is quick, easy and can be incredibly powerful when performed individually or as a collective. It is also a means of lowering the barriers to politics that dominant power structures and processes have put in place to restrict what politics is, and where it can be performed. 

For those with limited access to formal political institutions or who want to take action outside of the political arena, clicktivism is a way of speaking out in a public online space. It enables people to engage in politics in an ad-hoc way, which includes (but is not limited to) signing and sharing an online petition, following election results in real-time or changing a profile picture in support of a cause.

Clicktivism is quick, easy and powerful – OxPol

Going online as a tool to empower can work in so many different areas: How Online Technology is Empowering Small Business – London Post and Empowering Consumers with Digital Services – EURACTIV.com

And business certainly takes it seriously: 17 Successful Social Media Campaign Examples To Learn From – Plann