Researching the idea of social activism drew me to really self examine myself and my “social activism participation.” Being active on various social media sites, I feel it essential for me to really be self aware of my participation in this type of activism. I came across the term slacktivism, and after doing some serious research thought to myself…..”am I a slacktivist?” “Am I part of the trendy, shallow, effortless group of people who say they are social activists, but in reality are slacktivists?” “If so, is slacktivism a bad thing?
In order to answer my questions I first had to define Slacktivists. Simply put slacktivists are people who participate in feel good measures that support a cause that requires minimal personal effort. The key here is MINIMAL effort. By clicking a link, wearing a bracelet, sharing a post or signing an online petition, many people feel that this is enough to support a cause. Is it? Do these minimal actions really do anything to support issues in our society. Or do they just allow social media users to pretend they are activists, when in reality they care…but don’t really care enough.
I came across an article “The Death of Slacktivism” which really clarified a slacktivist to me. Those more interested in appearing socially conscious than actually doing something to get involved is becoming a norm in today’s society. People don’t really seem to want to get their hands dirty, or make a big stink about social issues, but they want to show their support that if someone wanted to go that direction, they would be there in spirit. I truly feel that gone are the days of bra burning and sit-ins, and more are the days of wrist bands, go fund me pages, and online petitions.
I struggle with the idea of slactivism because I think it may make things worse. I truly feel that words don’t matter as much as actions when it comes to supporting a cause. One can not, and should not just be an activist on social media, but be an activist in mind, body, spirit and actions. I feel that slacktivism is creating an issue with true support for causes. Slactivism hinders the importance of in person, boots on the ground activism, that truly makes a difference.
How often are emails ignored from activists trying to support a cause. Hashtags, social media comments are read, but really what is done?
Not much. Sure it may make society a bit more aware of issues that are occurring, but really are issues more “band wagons” that people jump on, just to “be involved”. Are a lot of the issues presented just gimmicks? Hashtags created by people who really won’t follow through with anything. Our natural instincts want us to help others… so does this satisfy our natural need? Or is this just a huge problem with slactivism?
Am I saying slactivism doesn’t work? SORT OF!!! Slactivism raises online awareness of topics, but it really doesn’t get stuff done. Today’s society of tweeters and bloggers must stop hiding behind their screens and start making a true difference through actions…not shares.
Check out my poll, I am interested to see how people see themselves. Slactivist or not??
Until next time…..