It’s easy to feel insignificant in this world. With billions of people roaming the planet, you can feel like no one is watching you, no one is listening to you, and no one cares about you.
That is why the internet attracted so many people from the get go. Voices, often lost in the physical world, suddenly found themselves being amplified online, and marginalised groups – who had been actively silenced throughout history – suddenly had hundreds of platforms at their fingertips
Now, with everyone joining Twitter and submitting think-pieces to Medium and Vice, it can feel as if the internet is too crowded. As your tweets get fewer retweets, or your blog posts attract fewer views, it can feel as if there is no room left for your voice to be heard or noticed anymore.
Or at least, that is how I feel sometimes. Most of my life is spent using the internet to document my thoughts and feelings on particular issues, and sometimes, I wonder why I bother.
Beauty and fashion bloggers attract thousands of views, unlike individual political bloggers.
I watch beauty and fashion bloggers get tens of thousands of views on every post, while my post-Brexit ramblings are lucky to get 100 views. I watch people far more eloquent than I write opinion pieces for The Huffington Post or the New Statesmen, and wonder if my political views will ever secure as much traction as theirs. In short, I wonder whether or not my voice really matters.
That is, until I receive a comment on a blog post, saying that my words perfectly summed up how a person felt about Brexit. Or I receive a Facebook message from an old school acquaintance, telling me that my feminism has inspired them to look closely at the fight for female equality. Or I realise that ever since I started talking openly about my political beliefs, my right-wing family has become significantly less right-wing.
It’s easy to get obsessed with the bigger picture; to look at your actions, and then look at the world, and believe that your words aren’t changing anything. But sometimes you need to take stock of all the little things you have done.
Maybe your tweet brightened someone’s day, or maybe your blog post changed one person’s mind. These are not insignificant achievements, and should not be treated as such. They should be celebrated as enormous victories, because that’s what they are. If you have succeeded in breaking through the noise and impacting on at least one person’s day, then you have made a difference to the world.
So next time you’re wondering whether you should pack it all in, sit down, be still and remember this: your words can change the world, and your voice matters.
Picture credit: http://aliciadrhankins.com/your-magnet-voice/
About the author
Olivia Woodward is a blogger, social media and marketing consultant, social media enthusiast and history graduate from the University of York. She has been actively involved in student journalism from the age of 16, writing on a wide range of topics from politics to theatre to fashion. In 2014 she launched Petticoats and Patriarchy, a blog that tackles social justice issues and popular culture from a feminist perspective. Since then, she has become increasingly interested in the way that women are using the internet to speak out against injustices, and the effect that the digital world is having on young women and girls globally. On Digital Women UK, Olivia blogs on social media trends that impact on women and young girls, intersectionality and intends to highlight examples of digital platforms being used to innovate the way women communicate and share online.