What, like it's hard?
Just when I thought celebrities couldn’t possibly be more out of touch with reality, Annalynne McCord decided to prove me wrong.
In late February, the “90210” star delivered a two and a half minute speech directed at the Russian leader as troops invaded Ukraine. In case you don’t want to suffer through the nauseating monologue, here are the Cliffs Notes. The actress stated that this war could’ve been prevented through one thing: pure, childhood joy— a joy that she herself would have provided the leader were she his mother.
The tactless video resulted in McCord receiving an influx of criticism for placing herself at the center of the devastating event that has an entire nation’s future hanging in the balance.
This isn’t exclusively celebrities. Social media users generally feel a great amount of pressure to speak out against world issues, often leading to shallow, unproductive activism.
I get it. These are scary times we live in. It’s natural to want to use your voice to extend support and help affected communities, but it’s important to approach it the right way. What’s often forgotten in the desire to offer aid is the importance of delicacy. So, here’s your guide to not ending up like Miss Annalynne McCord.
1. Put your investigative cap on
Not every pretty infographic making the rounds on your feed is factual. With the rapid spread of information made possible by social media platforms, incorrect reports go viral as they’re shared with the masses. Conducting your own research beyond the scope of social media will assure that the information you’re consuming is accurate. If all the infographics you see are inaccurate, counter them by making your own!
2. Tackle issues with tact
Be sensitive. There is no definitive way to spread awareness on issues; it is far from being a one-size-fits-all act. Some situations allow a more humorous approach, while others don’t. For example, campaigning for extended hours at a campus study spot can be humorous. A war, especially one that doesn’t affect you nearly as much as those experiencing it daily, is not something that should be made into a joke. Use your judgment.
3. Leave your savior complex at the door
Don’t be that person. If the situation doesn’t have a direct effect on you, don't act as if it does. Acknowledge the impacted communities and amplify their voices instead. But remember that amplifying their voices doesn’t mean appointing yourself as their representative. After all, it is still their struggle; you are merely helping them in their fight.
4. Remember that you are human
Seeing so much hardship on social media can be taxing. The good news is that you will almost never be the only person fighting for a certain cause. Prioritize your mental health and take breaks when needed; there will be more than enough people fighting the good fight while you take the rest you need.
Above all, stay true to yourself. It’s easy to find yourself conforming to society’s view of activism, but reposting infographics and making videos aren’t the only ways to make your voice heard. Discover what works for you and go from there.
Kaicha Noel is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. When she’s not daydreaming about her future, you can bet she’s somewhere spending way too much money on mediocre coffee, adding to her already lengthy list of Spotify playlists and writing poetry about every experience she’s ever had. You can find her on Instagram @kaichanoel or reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.