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Shyam Patel

Delmar Senior High School, 9th grade

The Opportunities of the Internet

“Ding… Ding… Ding…” Now what could be making that noise? Oh right! The cellphone that is in every youth’s pocket nowadays. While everyone has a cellular device in their pockets, do they use them productively? Probably not. However, these cell phones have access to the entire internet! One can access anything around the world with the internet. From social media to websites of environmental agencies, one can easily bring awareness about a cause in Delaware and around the world. I envision that youth today will help prevent climate change through the power of the internet to connect with individuals they relate with to bring more awareness and work together on more sustainable solutions for the environment, both globally and locally. 

Today, many social media applications, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, are leisurely used by many young, passionate, and bright individuals. However, these heartfelt individuals can bring their presence online to another level through a common purpose. By finding a community, these individuals can better advocate for their cause by finding a group of people they relate to. As more people join, communities can grow to advocate for climate change by repeatedly posting about the effects of global warming, in turn gaining more viewers and supporters. As a sense of community increases, communication also increases. Moreover, individuals gain more motivation and confidence to finish projects that bring awareness to their cause. 

Now in what ways can these communities advocate for climate change? There are many ways! First, research is needed to inform the community about the most recent information and statistics. With the internet, individuals are only seconds away from discovering the most recent information from reliable sources. By constructing thorough posts off of Canva and posting them on Instagram, one can reach out to followers and other communities with the researched information, in turn raising awareness. Statista, a database of statistics, says that Instagram has 2 billion active daily users, and Instagram is only one social media platform! As the community grows, one can host fundraisers on multiple platforms such as GoFundMe and Patreon. 

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, creators on Patreon can earn from $315 to $1575 a month to donate to other organizations. When I was in elementary school, I held a fundraiser for an organization that planted trees that raised $100. While the amount raised was substantial, I could have raised much more with an online fundraising platform! 

In addition to growing a community with people who share the same goal to defeat climate change, individuals can also connect with those who share the same skills! Websites such as LinkedIn and Quora are extremely effective at linking individuals with those who share a passion for a skill along with climate change. As two or more individuals share the same skills and passion for climate change, they can create major projects. From displaying the effects of CO2 in a video game to coding influential websites on the importance of reducing plastic waste, the internet can help advocate for climate change and reach millions of people. Statista states that there are 5.35 billion internet users around the world as of January 2024. Thus, along with creating communities with many individuals who share the same passions, the internet fosters creativity and encourages the collaboration of passionate activists to make a change by creating online platforms to voice their beliefs. 

While all of these methods can be applied globally, one can use these methods to advocate for climate change in their local communities. Social media is more effective with communities, as individuals can connect both offline and online! Using the aforementioned methods, one can easily bring the community together to host fundraisers and organize events locally with effective communication through online platforms. For the copious fundraisers I manage for my school, I always post on social media to gain more attention for the cause. As students look at the post, they are encouraged to ask questions and communicate with the other community members. Furthermore, those who do not have access to a computer can also benefit from the internet! Before, I mentioned how one can make Instagram posts on Canva. However, one can also create stylish flyers and posters that can be hung around the town or community! As flyers are around the community, those who do not have access to the internet can be informed about the steps being taken to combat the cause. 

Let’s now imagine the benefits of the internet through a hypothetical scenario. A Delawarian community is hosting an event that involves cleaning up the local parks and planting more trees. To connect and share the event with the world, community leaders, such as the mayor and their cabinet, can easily create an Instagram or Twitter post on their page in a matter of seconds and reach citizens across Delaware. Moreover, they can create eye-catching posters to hang around schools, parks, and other public places to gain more awareness. Using the internet, community leaders can also research some statistics to build ethos. By incorporating the statistics on posters, the community can further convince individuals to attend the event. Thus, by using the internet, a community can increase participation in events that help climate change. 

The face of the internet is the youth. Now how will I play my part? By using the internet, I plan to start sharing the dangers of climate change in my school. Using PowerPoint, I can formulate a seminar with a thorough presentation that includes precise statistics and facts. As a member of the Student Government Association, posting about climate change on the school website can raise awareness for students and teachers. Using technology, my friends and I can spread an eco-friendly trend, such as a zero food-waste challenge. On Spotify, an app that specializes in music and podcasts, I can start a weekly podcast on the most recent climate change stories and how they affect our community today. Using Adobe Premiere Pro, I can record and edit informational videos on greenhouse gases to post on the morning announcements. As shown, there are many ways I can raise awareness for climate change with the internet. 

The internet is a vast area of opportunities for everyone. With the internet, communities that share a passion for climate change can easily grow. These communities can take further action on the internet using platforms to host fundraisers and spread credible information. Moreover, individuals who share the same skills can connect to collaborate and create influential projects to inform the public about the effects of climate change. The internet can also be used for local communities to share information about events with more individuals, thus increasing citizen participation. There are many methods that I can use to raise awareness of climate change among students, teachers, and administrators at my school. The internet is an oasis of opportunities for individuals to share their beliefs. If used effectively, the internet can change the world for the better. 

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