2018 is slowly approaching and in 2017, the world was flooded with young people joining the most wonderful and long-lived #TeamInternet. In 1974, the beginnings of what we know now as the Web came into existence, thanks to ARPAnet, a network used by the US military to send and receive information between cities during the Cold War. Fast-forwarding 20 year after that, Tim Berners-Lee created the official World Wide Web in 1991, what we now use to access all types of information, from videos, to blog posts just like this one.
It’s all out here; this wonderful binary world has changed our lives and is everyday influencing who we are and how we act in the physical realm of life. How we think, what we know, how we educate ourselves, how we express our thoughts and consequently how we communicate our ideas and beliefs with the world. Everything we are and everything we can be is influenced by this powerful tool. So, now what?
Young people are taking over the Internet. We see more and more influencers daily turning social media platforms into their source of income. Youtubers, Instagramers, world travelers who work as bloggers, writers who work as content creators for big websites, therapists who use Skype as a way of reaching more clients, fashionistas who express themselves through 1 minute videos, politicians who share their campaigns through paid ads, universities that teach solely online. EVERYTHING. IS. IMPACTED. But, how can we, make a impact on what is so strongly impacting our world? How can we use this new out-loud voices to make the world we live in more bearable, more compassionate, more kind?
It is our duty, as humans, as the upcoming generations, and as members of the #TeamInternet to raise awareness about the things that matter, it is our tasks to shine light on those that don’t have the focus on them. May 2018 be the year for LGBT rights to be respected, for POC to be understood, for females to have a floor to present themselves on without being sexualized or ignored, for gun violence (and any sort of violence) to be stopped.
As Forbes says, “Millennials are an idealistic, altruistic generation”, and now, more than ever, after a year as painful as 2017, it is our time to keep the ball rolling and make it go faster. Your support will make an impact; these are three ways you can stand up for the causes you believe in during this upcoming year:
1. Be loud, speak up, your voice can create waves of change if you want it to. Three words: Start making statements. Use the platforms you are already comfortable with, whether it is with an Instagram caption, or with a Facebook post. Start making statements. It doesn’t take much to support the things you believe in. Share your story about mental health to remove the taboo that comes with being depressed. Post pictures of you in whatever way you are the most comfortable, it doesn’t matter if it is naked with stretch marks on your skin, or fully clothed with a cross around your neck, be you, whatever that is, and remind others it is okay to be themselves too. Talk about why Donald Trump’s latest judgmental action was not okay. Talk about the black people doing amazing things.
Talk about yourself and talk about the people out there who deserve being spoken about, for whatever reason that is, which takes me to point number two…
2. Empower the people around you. Don’t waste time bringing people down, that includes yourself. Don’t speak about how so and so is a bitch for whatever reason or about how you are fat because the VS fashion show tells you your body is not within the “accepted” margin. Talk about how another person’s body is amazing and how your body is amazing and about the accomplishments you and the humans around you have made this year. Bring people up with you and not down. Follow movements that believe in human empowerment. The key is to believe in yourself and in others, nothing about destroying the ones around you for no reason is attractive or will make you happier.
3. E-D-U-C-A-T-E yourself. Read. Listen to people, specially minorities, don’t focus just on the problems that affect you. Listen to trans people,to people of color, to immigrants, to native-americans; listen to females, to sexual workers, listen to activists that spend their lives educating themselves, listen to artists. Listen to everyone, and educate yourself. Have informed opinions about life. And make sure you educate others. If someone uses the n word, correct them, if someone uses the wrong pronoun when talking about someone, correct them, if someone speaks wrongly about someone else because of their skin color, religion, gender or gender expression, sexual orientation, job, or overall ‘humanness’, CORRECT THEM.
We are all in the same team, in the human team, and the Internet is an incredibly powerful tool, but it deserves to be used smartly, please remember to do so this 2018, and every year after that.
2018 – Think critically, do not criticize thinking.