Social media is often talked about negatively, how it can isolate and make people insecure. However, sometimes it can be used to connect, share and change things. The creators of JacksGap are the proof that social media can be used for the greater good.
If you are familiar with YouTube, you probably know JacksGap. Jack Harries became known on the platform around 2012. Initially, the channel was to document his gap year (Jack’s gap), but unfortunately (or luckily maybe) he didn’t get the grades he wanted and spent the summer resitting. He rapidly gained a large fan base and then introduced his twin brother Finn (Finn the better twin). The channel mainly consisted of funny and entertaining videos such as challenges, pranks or collaborations with YouTube royalty Marcus Butler, Zoella and Caspar Lee.
Progressively, the twins introduced more serious videos like “South Africa Comic Relief” or “Rainbow Centre in Sri Lanka”, until 2013 when they participated in the Rickshaw run. They documented their adventure as they drove 3500 km from the East of India to the West. The adventure raised over $100,000 for Cancer Research Trust. This event marks a turning point for the YouTube channel, after, the videos became less frequent, more engaged and meaningful. This was the beginning of another adventure for JacksGap. The last video posted on their channel is from three years ago and is called “Our Climate Change”. As a result, in February 2018 JacksGap was deleted, as well as its Instagram and Twitter. The two brothers have a respective Instagram account and Jack’s bio says “Filmmaker, Photographer, Environmentalist”.
A New Chapter
Moreover, Green Peace recently made them ambassadors, as they are now devoting themselves to bring awareness to environmental and political issues to start a conversation and hopefully change things. Jack documented the refugee crisis in Europe, made a project about the consequence of climate change in Somaliland. Finn uses his social media to talk about climate change and recently did a TedTalk about it. They have made activism look cool and are inspiring teenagers and young adults around the world to care about the future of their planet.
They are changing the way we use social media, by using Instagram to bring people together and promote a mindful and greener lifestyle, and often feature entrepreneurs and organisations who are helping the planet. Their travel photos are dreamy but they also remind us how beautiful and worthy our planet is. The photos humanise the refugees so that they are no longer an abstract concept but rather men and women who fled, often at the perils of their life, war. It gives us hope that together, by creating a community we can make the world a little bit better. We all have a part to play to save the planet. Jack and Finn are a breath of fresh air in this world of filters and likes.