On August 14, 2019,
Greta Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to attend the United Nations
Climate Summit in New York City. The purpose of this study was to explore the
messaging behind youth Cyber activist Greta Thunberg’s Instagram account during
her journey. We used an arts based visual content analysis approach and the
following research questions guided the study: a) How did Thunberg share her
climate activist journey with her Instagram followers? and b) How did
Thunberg’s Instagram followers respond to posts she made during her climate
activist journey? We collected posts from August 14 to 28, 2021. Images,
captions, and the first ten comments of the posts shared by Thunberg’s
Instagram account were qualitatively coded. Themes that emerged from the arts-based
visual and textual analysis included: 1) Thunberg shared her experience through
journey storytelling and voiced ongoing activism and 2) Thunberg’s audience
members’ top comments indicated a primarily negative response to her journey.
We highlight themes from the posts and discuss implications for online cyber activists
and communication professionals.