Over it’s 3 or so years of digital outreach, XR Australia has fostered a strong presence on the Big 4 ‘traditional’ social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now increasingly more so on YouTube… but what about Twitch and TikTok? These platforms are at the forefront of the digital culture at the moment and the potential for outreach and mobilisation is extraordinary.
TIKTOK is a short-form video sharing platform, and the fastest growing social media platform in the world. Users average an HOUR of use every time they open it. This platform rewards thoughtful and provocative content. Particularly, videos that feature cuts at the end of each sentence (known as jump-cuts) that demand every second of the viewers attention. In XR, I can see this being a great way to teach basic concepts about organisation, actions, digital spaces and regen in 60 seconds.
TWITCH is a live-streaming platform traditionally used for gamers to commentate while playing. These days it has become ubiquitous and used for anything you can fill time with: “just chatting”, conversations, talks, trainings, etc. The possibilities are endless! For example, we could run a loose conversation on here–think a chat with a scientist or a grief circle–then publish the hour (or the highlights) to our other platforms. We could turn the audio into a podcast and broadcast to people driving. And the legwork of making it happen would ultimately end up with guests and local groups and people who want to contribute stuff to the greater movement. We’re not lacking in this.
Critically, what these platforms rely on is parasocial relationships where end-users commit their time and energy (one-sidedly) to your content. This is hard to achieve for most. But what we have is a unique position wherein a lot of people who are ‘fans’ of XR from the outside, or new people who want a less procedural and objective guide into the movement can plug in to anything we create.
The emotional reach from these platforms is huge. It fosters a personal connection with Rebels (and soon-to-be ones) and deepens the connection people have to our strategy. This is all before addressing the biggest benefit, the elephant in the room: young people!
XR is currently lagging behind other movements (and passtimes in general) in engaging under 25’s. Potentially because they’re all keeping up with the times, digitally.
The kids who were 15 when Greta and School Strike 4 Climate shot to popularity are graduating high school this year. I think non-violent civil disobedience needs to take its place in the cultural zeitgeist of Australia’s youngest climate fighters. We have no time to lose.