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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Is this doing any good?

Oh hello darling, and welcome back to Pride season on Over the next weeks, I will bring you narratives that centre and focus on the LGBTQIA+ community. Today I want to look at the activism landscape and its efficacy.

One of the biggest switches that covid ushered in, was the number of people using social media as a tool to educate and bring attention to causes. Overall, this has been a good thing, seeing people utilise the tools many have access to - and doing good with them is great to see.

One narrative that has been circling the internet, is the impact and efficacy of the infographic. Infographics have become 2021’s marmite online tool. I see hundreds of infographics on so many different topics each day I am online. I am also a casual infographic poster, using this as a tool over ten times in the last year. But, how much do these colourful squares achieve?

I have been ruminating on this for a little while, and it took a panel to actually make me solidify my stance on infographics. Back in May, I sat down with some iconic individuals for General Assembly, to talk about using Instagram for good. We discussed how we can share education, and develop a communities understanding of certain issues.

I see Instagram as a very passive tool of change, by which I mean that we spend a lot of time just scrolling. This action offers creators a very easy way to slowly change perceptions and increase empathy for certain issues. Passive sounds negative, but it is the key element. The lack of aggressive interaction that our feeds offer us, means that it is easier to educate followers on tricky subjects in a less risky way.

We’re all very busy, and no one is capable of being on top of all elements of society. Sometimes the infographic we see online is the first time we see an issue discussed. This is the jumping-off point for more research and deeper more complex conversations. Without that infographic, a lot of the support and discourse of progress would never happen.

We also possess a very singular experience of the world, so there needs to be a space for people to share their experiences with us. Infographics can very easily share intersectional experiences and push people's understanding of society. These in turn are then very easily shared, and start a wider push for diversity that is so needed right now.

So I do understand that the internet can look like a pissing contest of who shouts the loudest with the fanciest infographics. But, this kind of content has its heart in the right place. If just one person sees this content and learns something from it, then it has done its job! So I say that infographic activism has a purpose, and is doing good in small ways!

Thank you so much for joining me, as always, I love you lots like jelly tots, until next time, uh buh bye.

Shot by Rachel Pechey


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