I’m not here to shoot down your plans on protesting, instead I want to stir the conversation surrounding protest and their impact on society. While it’s clear that protest gather a fair amount of attention I personally think there are better alternatives to protest that don’t demand location based advocacy. So let’s dive into why in my opinion, protest aren’t incredibly useful in 2021.
Think about this for a second, you could contact people half way across the world with something in your pocket. That’s really cool! Why transport yourself to a major metropolitan area in order to protest when you could just raise all your concerns through the internet! Not only is it a lot safer for those looking to raise awareness around a topic but you’ll very likely be able to produce a greater impact as an individual, ultimately leading to a greater impact as a collective! Next time you want to be a rebel, perhaps grabbing your phone is all you have to do!
There’s no getting around this one, the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging throughout the world means protest pose a real danger to those involved. Not only are you putting yourself at risk of contracting the disease (Or any other contagion for that matter) assuming you traveled for the demonstration, you’re now bringing back the disease to your hometown! Yeah there are vaccines are there now and it seems like the world is slowly returning to normal but the fact that protest and any other large event like this can quickly be labeled as “Super spreader events” is a major problem! Yet another reason why I’m not a big fan of protest.
Protesting for some may involve a walk down your street and a day off of work, for other’s we’re talking about missing work, school and just life in general. That’s a big opportunity cost for something that may or may not produce actual tangible results. I think it’s important for people to have a voice and it’s important for others to listen to that voice, but at what cost? There’s a real discussion to be had around the amount of man hours lost to protest every year, if those hours were spent earning an income and using that money to fuel their movements, there would very likely be bigger outcomes. It sounds harsh, but money is power. Unfortunately, people can’t make money when they’re demonstrating.
Protest shouldn’t be banned or even frowned upon, as I said, it’s important for individuals and collectives to have a voice in the world stage. But I have to press the issue that in today’s modern age, there are vastly better alternatives to walking down towards the capital. While you may be fueling giant tech companies by doing so, you’re likely to do more if you sent out a status update about the political movement you want to highlight on any given day!