By arii lynton smith
Amplifying your voice doesn’t have to be an enigma. Thanks to social media these days everybody seems to have an opinion on everything! While this can be overwhelming, it means that there’s an opportunity for all of our voices to be heard by someone. I think that this is a powerful thing.
I got into content creation rather selfishly. I was watching some travel videos as I prepared for a 3 week backpacking trip in Europe and I was really frustrated with the content online. There didn’t seem to be travel content that resonated with me or fit me (as an audience member). Ego stepped up and I figured if they could make content so could I, and mine would be so much better. When the pandemic hit a few months later my life took so many dramatic turns. They helped me realize that my interest in content creation didn’t have to be separate from my desire to teach people more about sustainability and the opportunity to create better world systems.
Content creation is a form of activism and is really important. I think there are 3 kinds of participants in movement space. There are organizers: the people who are creating and planning events. There are activists: the people who are showing up to these events/rallies/marches etc. And there are influencers/content creators: the people who are sharing information online and providing access to (political) education.
Without all three of these players direct action can be infinitely less successful. Most people don’t wake up one day and decide they want to join the climate justice movement. At some point they had to be educated about the movement, which lead them to becoming impassioned by it. In today’s age a lot of that education is happening on social media thanks to content creators and influencers. I think that social media can be a really great tool for getting a surface level understanding of a wide range of topics. More than likely that conversation is being facilitated by content creators and influencers.
Content creation is an amazing tool to break down really big topics into digestible pieces. Our job is to make an otherwise boring, and uninteresting, piece of research or news media into something that users want to consume! Consumption is key because when people are consuming our work that is the vehicle by which they are able to learn more about the content that is included therein.
I believe that content creation is not the end all be all. There’s so much more that we can and need to explore than what can be shared on Instagram or Facebook. A lot of really pertinent topics can’t even be discussed on these platforms for safety reasons. But we can reach a really wide group of folks with some really important (and hopefully engaging) information around what’s happening in the climate crisis.
I am always reminding my audience that the world that we are hoping to live in in the future does not yet exist. It requires all of our creativity to imagine what that new world looks like. For that reason, I truly believe there is space for everyone in this movement no matter what their passions are.
If you’re interested in pursuing content creation I highly suggest it! You don’t have to be an amazing graphic designer or photographer or videographer. Those skills come through practice. Start by sharing your unique ideas about how we can improve our relationship with the planet and with other people. In time you’ll find your voice. People will share your content. And your platform will grow. It doesn’t happen overnight, but in my opinion sharing the good news about the possibilities for our planet when we connect with one another makes it totally worth it.