Smartphones are more affordable and accessible then ever and they’re transforming the way we run environmental justice campaigns. Audiences all over the world are able to follow causes through social media, engage with relevant smartphone apps and use their phone at protests. Here is how your smartphone is changing the activism game.
Capture the photo that’s worth 1,000 words
As cliche as it sounds, some pictures can be worth 1,000 words, especially when it comes to spreading the word about your environmental campaign. Taking breathtaking and lively photos and videos will capture the attention of viewers and transport them into a space that tugs at heartstrings and evokes the emotions necessary to promote change. With the Apple iPhone SE 12 megapixel camera, your phone will capture the sharp and vivid images you need. New 4K video capabilities increase the number of pixels and resolution for videos that really draw in support and spread your message.
Enhance your campaign with apps
Not every supporter of your campaign will be a scientist, but providing your supporters with the tools to engage in educated discussions and back up their claims with facts, will result in stronger activism. Skeptical Science is a free app that gives your supporters the tools to counter climate change deniers with science. Sometimes pulling supporters into your campaign requires more than just facts. Get kids or adults hooked on birding with The Cornell Lab’s Merlin Bird ID App or contributing to scientific studies through one of these eight apps that turn average citizens into scientists. Then use their passions and hobbies to guide them toward environmental activism, where they would support a cause that matters to them, such as conserving or restoring the habitat of their favorite bird.
Spread the word on social media
Social media is not only for sharing pictures of your fancy meal on Instagram or reading Buzzfeed articles on Facebook. Social media is an avenue environmental campaigns should use to engage individuals, collaborate with relevant organizations and non-profits, and spread the word to unlikely recipients who might be learning about ocean acidification or climate change for the first time. Everyday citizens actually rely on their personal social network to inform them of what’s crucial, fact-check and even broadcast and share what they find important. Comments on Facebook and Twitter drive conversation and debate, where people have the opportunity to sway or recruit individuals toward their cause. The most beneficial aspect of social media, is the speed at which it moves through the news cycle, reaching audiences faster than any other outlet, leading to quicker reactions.
Use it during a peaceful protest
An essential part of participating in a justice campaign is having your voice heard through peaceful protests, like marches and sit-ins. With everything going on in the world, it’s up to average citizens to broadcast in real time local and large-scale environmental protests. Facebook Live, Instagram Live and Ustream.tv are live streaming options that will inform and motivate others to get involved. When it comes to environmental activism, individuals participate with the best intentions, but it’s inevitable that tensions can run high and participants should hope for the best, but prepare for the worst in a protest. Here is where your smartphone comes in. Use GPS apps such as Find my Friends to locate lost comrades with your smartphone if a protest goes awry. Your smartphone also comes in handy during emergencies with one of these seven essential personal safety apps.