The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues facing our world today, and social media has played a significant role in raising awareness about the issue. Social media platforms have allowed individuals and organizations to share information and mobilize action on a global scale. One of the biggest positive impacts of social media on the climate crisis is its ability to raise awareness about the issue.
Through social media, individuals and organizations can share information and personal stories about the impacts of climate change, which can help to educate the public and increase support for action. Social media has also been used to coordinate and amplify collective actions, such as protests and petitions, which can put pressure on policymakers to take action on the climate crisis.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, people who interact with climate-related content on social media are more likely to support policies aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change. However, the impact of social media on the climate crisis is not all positive.
The overuse of social media can lead to an increase in energy consumption and carbon emissions, contributing to the problem. According to The Shift Project, a Paris-based climate think tank, the carbon footprint of our gadgets accounts for 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions, which is more than the amount produced by the aviation industry and is set to double by 2025. Using each of the 10 major social media platforms for five minutes each day would result in 20kg of carbon a year, which is the same as driving in a car for 52.5 miles. This may be a generous estimate considering people spend an average of 145min a day on social media. If you’re interested to know your estimated social media carbon footprint, check out this cool carbon footprint calculator.
Social media can also be a source of misinformation, and climate change deniers have used social media to spread false or misleading information about the issue. The constant and excessive use of social media can also contribute to a lack of attention to the problem and can promote a more consumerist lifestyle rather than promoting a sustainable one. The fashion industry that thrives of social media is currently responsible for more annual carbon emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
Moreover, the way social media is designed to be engaging and keep users on the platform can exacerbate “greenwashing” where companies and organizations show an eco-friendly image but do not have much action on the ground. This can make it hard for consumers to identify truly sustainable products and practices, which makes it difficult for them to make informed decisions and take meaningful actions to reduce their carbon footprint.
Overall, social media can be a powerful tool in the fight against the climate crisis, but it is important to use it responsibly and critically. We can utilize social media to raise awareness, amplify calls to action, and connect with like-minded individuals and organizations, but we must also be mindful of the ways in which social media can contribute to the problem, such as energy consumption and misinformation, and strive to use it in a sustainable manner.
By: Jocelyn Sandoval
Sammis|Ochoa is a Texas-based public relations and digital marketing firm. We believe transparency and accountability are hallmarks of smart business. Our firm serves San Antonio, Houston, and Austin. To connect with us visit www.sammisochoa.com or call 210.390.4284.