So far this has been a very hard blog to write, not 100 percent too sure why, but it may be because knowing that I have unknowingly contributed to the “slacktivism” movement makes a person look inward and take stock of themselves. So, where did the spark to write this post come from? Simple – it came from a tweet!
According to the Urban Dictionary – A slacktivist is a “person who does simple things like change their avatar colour or post a status update about a cause instead of actively supporting the cause.” ALS ice bucket challenge, Pink and Red equals signs for equal rights in marriage. Avatar activism is not a bad thing, it does raise awareness on issues and does bring issues to light, reaching many people on social media in a very short time. But does it end there, with a re-tweet, changing the colour of your Facebook profile picture, wearing a bracelet in support of a cause that means a lot to the individual? The video below takes a look at the positives of having slacktivists in our society.
Katherine Hudson points out that 5000 likes is worth more than one conversations. ONE CONVERSATION! Again, this brings to mind the idea from Michael Wesch’s TED Talk knowledgable vs. knowledge-able. The evolution of using knowledge (knowing a bunch of stuff) towards a concept of being knowledge-able (find, sort, analyze, what can be said, who can say it, who hears what is said) which are used to start conversations. At 12:30 into his TED Talk, Michael speaks about a software used to send alerts to based on where you are to your cell phone – essentially creating 45,000 citizen reporters. These “reporters” were not physically doing anything, they were sending alerts, so are these “reporters” slacktivists?
One last thing, and brining it back to Katherine Hudson; are slacktivitst disrobing us of our own opinions or are they educating and moving the tassel on the mortarboard from the right side to the left?