For our activist project, we decided to focus on a topic that we felt was highly important for the future of our environment. We felt that inspiring and motivating people to be aware of the environment was key to ensuring the future health of the ecosystem. We ventured to Instagram in order to spread our passion, since the platform is easily accessible and utilized by a wide variety of people.
After searching for environment-related tags on users’ posts, we started to follow many users in order to create a following. We then made our first post, which we hoped would cause users to follow us back. The most tangible way to analyze the success of our project in our opinion was by the number of followers that our account, ‘TheGreenManDaily’ had. We managed to have 23 followers, while we were following 76 users as of May 17th, 2016. We also received a total of 60 likes and two comments on posts. As apart of each of our posts, we tagged around 8 popular tags, such as #nature and #inspire. In addition, we used our own thought of tag, #FindYourGreenMan. In both our profile information area and in our first introductory post, we announced that those who wanted to contribute to our project could use our tag in their posts and we would repost it onto our account. Reposting allowed our followers to be motivated to model the depicted acts or ideals outlined in those posts. In two of our reposts, we emphasized the idea that anyone can contribute to preserving the earth, no matter how big or small the act is. We also emphasize that something as little as picking up a piece of trash was helping out. We believe that although we do not know the complete arbitrary amount of motivation that our project has invoked, we did successfully accomplish our main goal of motivating and inspiring others to be aware of the environment. We also ourselves began to be more motivated and pay more attention to environmental issues in our daily lives like picking up trash as we walked on the sidewalk or using as little water and electricity as we could.
Some parts of our project were more successful than others, the times that we reposted pictures of doing small things to make a difference we received a good response, but when we attempted to post just a general inspirational picture, we did not get the same response, unfortunately not many used our hashtag so not many reposts were available to use. We believe that with 23 followers, our posts inspired atleast someone to pick up trash that they would have walked by or think about their environmental footprint more than they normally would have and that is successful because that will spread, someone notices what they did and do the same growing the amount of success of the project.
Doing this project showed us that even if your activism does not create headlines in the news, knowing that your work inspired someone else about a cause you believe in is rewarding. Throughout the project we saw that we already were activists before the project even began by influencing those around us with actions, such as using environmentally friendly products and trying to keep our environmental impact to a minimum, as well as sharing information on how to lower your impact to those that would listen. In a more general sense, we learned that activism is not an intimidating thing. Prior to this project, we both imagined activists to be those who spent all of their time trying to activate for their certain cause. Although this can be true, this is not at all what an activist must be. We hope that our project will inspire everyone to get involved in a cause that they believe in, even if they can only contribute a small amount.