Often, social media is used to project the best of times. You could argue that we’ve been so good at sharing our most prized moments that, at least in the social media world, we’ve lost touch with the reality that some moments are just not that glorious.
And yet, we crave honesty and realness, maybe that’s why we see hashtags like #nofilter and #nomakeup gaining currency on our Instagram feeds. We value the courage in sharing realness, precisely because it is not pretending to be flawless; precisely because it is rare.
When I think about the latest social media I have seen (or posted) featuring lakes, rivers and streams, I realize it’s no less true for how we represent our experiences on water. We project the best of times -- paddling in pristine waters, marveling at a rushing waterfall, showing off a healthy catch. In reality though, a browse through any other media (remember newspapers?) or this report on Canadian waters, a scan of your local water stewardship group’s website, or heck, an old-fashioned stroll by a local stream with open eyes...and it’s easy to see that often, the true north water story is -- you guessed it -- just not that glorious.
We at the Freshwater Alliance think this summer is a prime opportunity for a water exposé. Without the full story on social media, it’s too easy to forget that Canada has some serious work to do to make sure our waters are healthy and protected. Like the wave of outrage sparked by photos shared of beaches riddled with plastic, we have the power to make in-land water woes visible and undeniable, and to propel truth-telling into change. We need your help to remove the filter on water and dispel the myth that all is well in Canada’s freshwater story.
We challenge you
This summer, use the hashtag #nofilterH2O and post a photo, video or meme on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Include a short explanation that daylights the not-so-glorious picture of water in our lakes, rivers and streams. Think of yourself as a citizen water reporter. Is an invasive species wreaking havoc in a nearby river? Did you notice sketchy run-off entering a waterbody? Were you met with a health warning or a physical obstruction that kept you from swimming or paddling?
*If your Instagram account is private, make sure you follow us on Instagram and like our #nofilterh2o photo, and we will request to follow you back! That way, we'll be able to see your picture and make sure you're entered in the draw.*
BONUS: Use #nofilterH2O and your posts will be automatically entered to win 1 of 5 LUSH Prize Packs and could be featured in an end-of-summer Top 9 water challenges roundup curated by the Canadian Freshwater Alliance.
P.S. I get it, we all need a place to escape to now and then, maybe it’s watching tiny sweet fuzzy bunny videos or posting epic mountain summits. Keeping doing whatever works for you! And ALSO, this summer, post something real that could help lift the filter on water problems in Canada and tell the true north water story. We challenge you.
- Megan & the Canadian Freshwater Alliance Team
(Christine, Coree, Lindsay, Megan, Natalija, Raj)