How to be an activist without having to leave your couch
Being an activist can be hard work, and sometimes, that comfy couch just won't stop calling your name.
After a long day of slaving away at your mindless nine to five that never seems to pay you enough, trying to avoid accidents as an uninsured American, and growing exhausted by our vapid political system, who the hell has the energy to protest?
In the timeless words of the illustrious Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"
But the impulse to be active, have a voice in the conversation, and push to see the changes you want in the world can be a powerful one.
So what do you do when the power of laziness beats your revolutionary ambitions into submission?
A quick Google search shows the definition of an activist as "a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change."
Some believe the internet has destroyed aspects of socialization, but in reality, it has widely expanded the options. Many people also forget that every bit of activism counts. Whether you're handing out pamphlets at a rally, wearing a "keep your laws off my ovaries!" shirt, or "debating" with Proud Boys on Reddit, as long as you are fighting for a better tomorrow, you are definitely an activist.
These are just a few ideas to help you stay active without even having to leave your couch. And if you happen to be missing any necessary items, just order them online and have your mom or significant other bring them to you upon your fluffy throne.
Get creative and make a zine
Long before the days of tweets and chat rooms, activists had to get creative with how they spread thoughts and ideas.
This is where zines came in. They were the ultimate way to spread your way of thinking like Covid at a Trump rally using only some paper, pens, and a stapler.
The true beauty about zines is that there are no rules. Anyone can make a zine about anything they want using any tools at their disposal.
They come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are autobiographical tales while others are comics. Some contain the rantings of anarchists about the evils of capitalism while others can detail the depraved misadventures of a sex addict. Nothing is off limits!
It is DIY at its best, and many sub and counter cultures over the years have used zines as a medium to spread alternate perspectives and grow their movements.
July is International Zine Month, and it's the perfect time to check out a basic tutorial so you can produce your very own zine on a subject that matters most to you. There is still a strong culture of zine lovers and collectors just waiting to hear your story.
Make noise with a band or a podcast
Back in 1969, during an interview with Rolling Stone, The Doors frontman Jim Morrison described the future of music, stating, "some brilliant kid will come along and be popular."
"There’s somebody out there, working in a basement, just inventing a whole new musical form," he added.
That somebody could totally be you, and in 2022, music and recording machines and instruments are fairly affordable and easily accessible.
There are a ton of different packages that you can buy online that have everything you need to get started, such as a microphone and a recording interface.
As for music instruments, you don't need to drop thousands of dollars on a 1960 Gibson SG reissue to sound good. Check out some local garage sales, pawn shops, and thrift stores. Someone's dad somewhere is trying to get rid of his old Les Paul because he's are too old to rock, and it has your name written all over it.
Start a Riot Grrrl band and hand out those dope femme zines you made at shows, or start a podcast where you sit down with interesting people and talk about how to combat mental illness. The sky's the limit!
Start filming and create a YouTube channel
As hard as it may be for your parents to believe, people can make a living producing social media content. Even bigger than that, people can actually use that content to make a difference in the world.
YouTube was one of the OG places for people on the internet to get behind a camera and say whatever they wanted to.
Years later, it still reigns supreme, and many users have made prominent names for themselves.
Kyle Kulinski began his Secular Talk channel back in 2008 and is now one of the leading progressive, alternative news sources on the platform today.
Shooting and editing videos can be a challenge and present a bit of a learning curve, but there are tons of free programs and apps these days that streamline the process, making it simple for just about anyone who isn't over the age of 50.
So when those checks start coming in after a few months of consistently doing your I LUV BERNIE SANDERS! podcast, and your parents still complain about you living on the couch, it will be the perfect time to simply respond, "OK boomer."
Start a movement with an online petition
As disastrous as the idea of anyone having the ability to create a petition about anything is, the end result at Change.org is more often absolutely hilarious than harmful.
But in all seriousness, users from around the world use the platform to fight for serious change, while being able to garner massive numbers of supporters and signatures.
All you really have to do is sign up for an account, think of something that matters a lot to you, and share with others why that is.
If you manage to get enough signatures, it can end up featured on the site's front page, and even may reach the party who can actually initiate the change you want to see.
The best part is you can fight for a great cause without even having to change out of your pajamas. Eat that, AOC!
You are one step closer to becoming the ultimate couch activist, and there are tons of resources around the web to help get you started on any of these projects.
Cover photo: Liliana Berrocal