There have been other Black, Indigenous, and people of color who have had similar messages for decades. There are other posts with better wording, better graphics, and more detail that exist online. The “why” is a combination of timing, comprehensibility, and shareability: It was a moment at which the environmental sphere decided to collectively act to amplify a message online. While I am proud of myself for taking action, I think the resonance of my message is a mostly external factor that emerged when people united, both in person and online, and gave my message a wider platform. I am so thankful and amazed by this privilege I’ve been granted by the online community.
My experience showed me so vividly the power of collective action that environmentalists can wield if we support diverse voices in the climate movement. This instance of personal virality made it apparent to me that there are ideas around the world that are worth uncovering and amplifying because they can determine the fate of the future. These messages can be shared from person to person and cause a ripple effect. Imagine all the untapped thoughts that are just waiting for that perfect moment to be transmitted across social media around the world. Imagine the new philosophies, frameworks, and climate solutions that are currently just ideas in someone’s head waiting to be posted.
During the time of COVID-19 and heightened social and environmental awareness, this cascade of knowledge has the potential to lead to swift action that can ensure a better future for both people and the planet. Social media can be used as a tool to spread health information, critique unjust systems, and empower audiences to participate in the change they want to see in the world. While social media has its drawbacks, this potential is meaningful—and so are social media’s users: Us.
This experience has made me realize how powerful our individual actions are and how they can lead to systemic change. We are each participants in an online ecosystem, and we have the potential to make a greener, safer, and more equitable future for everyone through our social media clicks. So, when scrolling through your social media feed, share and amplify the messages you believe the world needs to hear. Who knows—maybe it’ll surge like a waterfall and change the hearts and minds of enough people to positively alter the future. That’s an incredible responsibility. I hope we use it wisely.