We all know social media has its downfalls, and its potential for anonymity can bring out some of the worst in humanity. But lately, we’re encouraged by the unique contribution that platforms like Instagram can make in our social movements. The opportunities to hear the stories and perspectives of people outside our typical social circles, to influence public narratives, and to build alliances across space and time make Instagram a powerful resource for social change. Here are a few ways to use it to create the world you want to see:
1: Listen to Marginalized Voices
Even if we follow the news, we rarely hear personal stories of those impacted by current events and long-standing systems of oppression. Following the accounts of individuals, artists and communities who are actively resisting and determining their own futures supports them in reclaiming the power to tell their own stories. Try searching for people to follow using hashtags like #WontBeErased, #qtpoc, #disabled, and #undocumented.
2: Show your support
When the administration strikes out at a vulnerable group or tragedy hits a community, help to spread awareness (think: reposting from impacted communities with permission) and fill feeds with messages of love and support. Check out this graphic from Oakland-based Movement Generation, part of a series responding to the U.S. administration’s plot to enforce a gender binary:
3: Build alliances
Use hashtags to find others around the world doing work aligned with your core values and mission. Message them, follow each other’s work, and explore ways to collaborate on and off social media. Together we can do so much more than when we work in isolation.
While face-to-face connection is irreplaceable in our movements and social media can just as easily be used to spread misinformation and hate, we have to acknowledge what’s possible through platforms like Instagram. Wondering how you can use your accounts for social good while staying true to your organization or project’s particular mission?We’re here to help.