Though it’s easy to look at the negatives of how the internet has impacted the world, from growing mental health concerns to massive personal information leaks, we should also look at the good. In particular, we’re going to look at how volunteering and activism efforts have changed drastically thanks to the internet and some of the causes worth taking a closer look at.

Everyone has a voice

One of the biggest differences is that the internet has made it all the easier for people to call out and expose the suffering they’re experiencing due to political, economic and environmental issues. One of the issues that highlighted the exposure that the internet could provide was during the 2013 Ukraine protests, where the production and release of viral videos became huge international news. A more recent example would be the Delhi protests earlier this month, where demonstrations against the state’s lax road safety measures were met with widespread violence and arrests. Most notably, the first international accounts of these protests began on Reddit.

Reaching out

The internet has proven an excellent resource for those reaching out to share more personal problems, too. There are online help communities and chat rooms set up around a whole host of issues. For instance, Very Well Mind lists a variety of different mental health chat rooms where users can talk to people struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. In the past, support for mental health was extremely limited, but these communities are making it easier for people to reach out to those who can offer real support and advice.

Donating is easier than ever

For those looking to offer direct financial aid where it’s needed most, it’s easy to donate to a whole host of worthy causes online. Between volunteer efforts and entrepreneurs like Kirk Chewning, the ongoing financial relief for places like the Virgin Islands recently hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria is helping to shelter displaced citizens, to provide generators, clean water, and rebuild heavily damaged communities. The potential reach and convenience of these donation-driven campaigns mean that anyone can successfully contribute to those in the most need.

Finding opportunities to help

If you’re looking to donate more than your time and you would like to donate, it’s never been easier to find those in need of your particular skills. Sites like Create The Good allow anyone to find registered non-profits and initiatives local to them. Though most of us are aware that there are efforts to help nearby, we might not know what exactly we can help with or where these organizations may be located. Nowadays, you can simply search for programs in the area and choose the one that best fits your own priorities or the skills that you have to offer alongside your time.

The internet exposes us to a lot more of the suffering and crises in the world. However, rather than simply filling our lives with bad news, it offers us a real opportunity to reach out and do good. Take the time to contribute what you can. It’s easier than ever.

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