The audiences for this post are my classmates. My goal is to continue on with my theme of how we use social media as a tool for good or evil (yes, I know my perspective is subjective).
Social media has the power to connect us with people and ideas from across the globe; this tool can be used for good or evil. I prefer to seek positive exchanges and found a community that’s trying to save the world through mitigating their waste. My thoughts are, how we can use conscious consumerism as a solution to our current ecological problems? Nobody wants to be told what to do… Unless it’s by someone you respect and trust. Buzz Agents (Struthers and Wang pg. 219) is a concept based off of using peers as a more reliable source of information through social media campaigns that incorporates a cooperative aspect with an authentic non-commercialized influencer or “Buzz Agent”. If you’re trying to raise awareness to an issue, gaining a relationship with your audience through sharing manageable and functional actions they can take to contribute to your message is an essential instrument for causing a larger affect. I follow The Wasted Blog, here the author is on a journey to becoming a more conscious consumer by using items that are long-lasting and not disposable. It’s difficult to change the way people do things on a daily basis but by bringing attention to simple alternatives that can have a big impact on our world for the better, Buzz Agents can flip the narrative and offer a positive outlet. Use your platforms as a way to spread some positive vibes.
The audiences for this post are my classmates and I intend to help them understand my love hate relationship with Instagram.
I started to use Instagram as a way to share my love for photography. There I discovered a community of people who enjoyed doing the same and all was well for some time. But lately I’ve found social media to be a constant advertisement, always creating new ways to monetize experiences. It seems as though everyone is trying to promote their agendas instead of connecting with each other. In B. J. Mendelson’s book Social Media is Bullshit, he coins a term “Cyber Hipster” as a means to call out those who discharge a highbrow agenda and pretend everyone can obtain their ranks without some sort of sacrifice or privilege. They then proceed to sell you on an exclusive idea, maybe it’s a retreat in Bali they’re putting on or a new product before it starts to trend, whatever it is they’re looking for financial sponsors in their social media following. It’s becoming harder to see authentic motives behind some of the Instagram community members I once championed for not being “Cyber Hipsters” and I’m no longer subscribing to their agendas.
I’m totally going to rant out for a moment about a blog post I read on how to save money.
First off let me warn you, I’m paying my way through college, while working a fulltime job that barely makes ends meet. So I’m sure you can imagine it’s difficult for me to look at saving money the same way as someone who can live off of 51 percent of their income. Currently a growing savings account to me is a fanciful land where fairies and dragons roam lush forests filled with rainbow waterfalls, Reality is… However, I still thought I should read the blog post and see what I could learn about saving some extra money. Here’s a snapshot from the blog: “Throughout the year, I lived on an average of 51 percent my income ($28,000), saved 31 percent ($17,000), and spent the other 18 percent on travel ($10,000). I proved that I could live on less, save more, and do more of what I loved, and learned so many other lessons throughout the process.” The author goes on to share some suggestions like cutting out spending money on nonessentials such as her $100 plus a month habit of buying coffee. Are you kidding me? That’s when I realized my monthly savings is the equivalent to someone’s bad coffee problem and I couldn’t relate to what I was reading. The author leaves out the possibility that her audience might not have the same financial means as she does. The post would have been more effective had she considered a wider audience. I, like the author of the post I disagree with are biased. Having your own perspective is an inevitable aspect of online communities and it’s not a bad thing, we just have to recognize this factor.
Link to post:
Even though we know something is inherently wrong why do we continue to do these things? Finding a cohesive resolution for dealing with humans negative affects on the environment can leave many feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated to take action since the scope is vast. We’ve all seen videos of Arctic ice melting around a baby polar bear left to its demise. We know that this is a result of global warming and that all of those consequences are due to human’s disregard for the environment. Constantly showing people the penalties of their actions often times desensitizes their abilities to see past the issue which in turn will hamper their ability to even begin to deal with resolutions. We must modify the narrative by displaying opportunities for people to take responsibility with simple solutions they can adopt in their daily life. Teaching a dog a new trick through punishment of a whip will leave behind a battered spirit afraid to show affection. Take the same dog and apply a different method involving an incentive such as a treat and you’ll get the same results and an ally for life. Let’s use this in relation to how we speak to people about changing their ways on how they interact with environmental issues to encourage motivation not fear. The United States Environmental Protection Agency coined a motto “ reduce, reuse, and recycle”. This slogan has created a movement that promotes individuals gaining knowledge on how they can take action with simple solutions to help them, their community and the environment by saving money, energy and natural resources.
Here are a few simple choices you can make that lead to a better planet:
- Do Meatless Monday, you can save 2,400 gallons of water, which would save more water than you can by not showering for six months.
- Reusing clothing instead of trashing last season’s threads will not only save you money but you’d be happy to know your not supporting an industry that uses 16% of the world’s pesticides.
- Recycling food waste by using left over scraps to fertilize your garden not only cuts down on your trash bill but also can reduce your carbon footprint and give life to your plants.
There’s a ton of ways that one can alter their day in a positive way to contribute to healing humans stamp on Mother Nature. With the preceding examples I aspire to suggest an alternate to the punishment versus reward method to reframe our approach to how we solicit responses to environmental issues through narratives. Simple actions individuals make can lead to a snowball effect of others adopting the same habits, which can create a vessel for a socially conscious movement towards legislation and regulations supporting environmental healing. To elicit change one must sacrifice the comforts of their privileges. Your individual action directly affects industries that are notoriously costly to the environment. Consumer choices will drive the market in a different direction, which in turn makes companies change their products to ensure they’re meeting the demands of their consumers. Ask for what is right by putting your money where your mouth is and become a Mindful Consumer.
The New Year rolled in with California legalizing recreational use of cannabis. As many cannabis shops brace for elevated sales with the passing of Proposition 64, a lesser-known provision in the law should be sparking more attention. Activist and Journalist Shaun King posted this message on Facebook: “… New California law allows EVERY person convicted of a marijuana crime to have a chance to have their records expunged and cleared – including felonies. This applies to at least 500,000 people in California from the past 10 years alone.” Decriminalizing cannabis is a huge deal folks! It’s now perfectly legal to partake in certain activities that previously could have landed you behind bars, with a criminal record and many other life altering consequences. Though medical cannabis has been legalized in California for two decades, the passing of this new law gives hope to so many people that have been adversely affected by cannabis prohibition. Spread the word!
See which states have decriminalized cannabis:
Still not quite sure on how you feel about cannabis laws? Watch Adam Ruins Everything: