John Green may be best known for his terminal tearjerker The Fault In Our Stars, but I first found his work through the Vlogbrothers Youtube channel he runs alongside his brother, Hank Green. The premise of the channel started as a daily vlog that served as the brothers’ only form of communication for an entire year. As their audience grew, they began referring to viewers as “nerdfighters,” and to their community on the whole as Nerdfighteria. The main goal of Nerdfighteria is to “decrease worldsuck,” and boy have they made good on that promise.
With the annual Project For Awesome raising over $1.5 million for various charities and organizations, nerdfighters have used their collective internet power as a force for real, tangible change in the world. Not only that, nerdfighters make the internet a better place to be, too! The aforementioned Project For Awesome is fueled by community-generated content discussing and promoting various activist causes, with John and Hank Green participating in a livestream that runs upwards of 36 hours.
Suffice to say, you can effect a lot of change right from your smartphone. Though your favorite baby boomer might decry the efficacy of “virtual” anything, there’s nothing un-real about the money and awareness spread by online efforts from organizations and individuals committed to making the world a better place.
And with so much worldsuck yet to be vanquished, we could use all the help we can get! If you’re looking for a way to help out your fellow mankind but can’t quite make it to the frontline, have no fear! The frontline needs your support right here on this World Wide Web that connects us all to each other, no matter where we are. Here are 3 things you can do right now to decrease worldsuck and leave the world a little better than it was yesterday.
1. Help #NoDAPL
I’m sure that by now you’ve heard about the #NoDAPL protests and the unacceptable treatment of Natives peacefully fighting for their land and their water by law enforcement. Help out by signing the Rezpect Our Water petition and, if you can afford it, donating to the camp and legal funds.
You can also help by amplifying Native voices and perspectives on social media! Here’s some required reading on the importance of centering Native peoples when we talk about #NoDAPL.
2. Give a small loan to an entrepreneur on the other side of the world.
Kiva is an amazing website that allows small business owners and students from 82 countries to take out loans from lenders through the website! Lend money in $25 increments and help somebody kickstart their latest shop expansion or purchase better quality fertilizer. With a 97% chance that your investment will be returned, you can use the same $25 to help folks out many times over!
3. Keep pit bulls safe in Montreal!
Sign the petition to reverse Montreal’s recent decision to ban any dog with the appearance of a pit bull. Pit bulls have a tough reputation as a violent breed, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Help save the lives of these sweet pups with your signature and put an end to breed-based legislation against pit bulls.
Now, stay right where you are and get to work decreasing that worldsuck! Let your smartphone be a tool for good will, and tell us about what other online activist efforts you’ve found that we should know about.