What are the key ways to get environmental messages across on social networks?

This topic was the subject of the third talk on "New technologies and digital humanism", organised by Casa Amèrica Catalunya and DIPLOCAT

On Thursday 2 November, the third talk in the series "New technologies and digital humanism", organised by Casa Amèrica Catalunya in collaboration with DIPLOCAT, took place. This is a series of four talks to discuss topics such as the symbiosis between human and artificial intelligence, how to control the technification of our lives and the balance between technological innovation and human ethics.

This time, the main topic was digital communication and how important it is to use social networks as a form of environmental activism. Gastón Tenembaum, a student of Environmental Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires and co-founder of the organisation Jóvenes por el Clima, and Maria Serra Olivella, a student of the Degree in International Relations, co-founder of Fridays For Future in Barcelona and ambassador of the European Union's Climate Pact, participated in the event. Both stressed the crucial role played by social networks as a tool for raising awareness and disseminating information on climate change.

Serra opened her talk by expressing that concern and fear about the future were key drivers of her interest in climate activism. She argued that social networks are an essential tool for generating greater impact, but that they also act as a mirror of society, exaggerating the existing inequalities and social problems. According to Serra, the problem is rooted in how these networks are designed, as their main objective is to generate profits and they are not created to "do good". These tools must be harnessed and remodelled so that they benefit society and create benchmarks and represent climate activism.

Meanwhile, Tenembaum focused on how to use social networks in different contexts so that they favour the transmission of the message effectively. The speaker explained that the ideal situation is when you are talking about the issue and enjoy a special position, such as being present on the spot, thus creating a greater impression and credibility. When this special position does not exist, various strategies need to be applied, such as the diverse and heterogeneous use of forms of communication, joining forces with other stakeholders to generate more impact, and deepening the issues to influence the media and politics.

Maximising the use of social media trends is an important way to increase the popularity of the message. Tenembaum gives three pieces of advice on how to be an activist on social media and make your message resonate: have a clear message, convey it ethically and always follow a positive line, and see social media as a tool and not as a means to an end. At a time when the effects of climate change are increasingly worrisome, the use of social media is vital as a means to raise awareness among young people, but also to disseminate environmental information quickly and effectively, so as to have an international impact.