Slacktivism (sometimes slactivism) is a portmanteau formed out of the words slacker and activism. The word is considered a pejorative term that describes "feel-good" measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction. The acts also tend to require little personal effort from the slacktivist.
Examples of activities labeled as "slacktivist" include signing internet petitions, the wearing of wristbands ("awareness bracelets") with political messages, putting a ribbon magnet on a vehicle, joining a Facebook group, posting issue-oriented YouTube videos, altering one's personal data or avatar on social network services, or taking part in short-term boycotts such as Buy Nothing Day or Earth Hour. [Source: Wikipedia]
Is Slacktivism really the new apathy?
This question lingers on my mind for a couple of days now and so I am posting an entry right now on it. The word 'Slacktivism' has been over the news and if you are not aware of it I guess you should start switching to your local news on TV or read the broadsheet. Or else you might be called a slacktivist without you even knowing what the term means.
As a blogger and a frequent 'bloghopper' I noticed that almost all if not are advocating a certain organization, group or cause. Be it political, social, environmental and the like. But have we asked ourselves if we really support these groups or causes, or we just want to go with the flow? Or we just want to add the cool banner, badge, widget or image representing the group or cause. Do you really understand what these groups are advocating? Do you really think that as an individual, supporting the group or cause would not deviate from your own principles and ideologies?
One night I've watched someone being interviewed by a news reporter on the matter. The person being interviewed seemed so infuriated by hearing that he and his peers are being called Slacktivists. He continued by saying that joining a group on facebook isn't a form of slacktivism when you put into actuality what you are really fighting for. He said that he even came all the way from the province to participate in the convention which was held to enlighten the members of the group's advocacies and plans.
Internet has been a very effective communicating tool for a fast-paced exchange of ideas. Even text messaging has been a powerful medium in the dissemination of information. The 'EDSA Dos' in 2001 has been a testament to this. Nearly all households in the Metro and other provinces starting from the CLASS A Family up to the Middle Class have internet access. And I think almost all people in this country have a cellphone which is capable of text messaging. But as all technological advances and innovations there's always the pros and cons.
Yes, with the powerful tool of the internet one can automatically be a member of an organization which supports a particular cause by just going to their site or page and click the JOIN button. Oh yeah, some groups would require you to fill up a form but do you think they actually read every information you write on it? Do you think they have the time to monitor every person who became a member of their organization?
After being confirmed as a member of the group, so what's next? Now, in some social networking sites like facebook there are notifications of your latest activity so if you happen to have a gazillion friends they might find that what you just signed up for is cool and join too; and so the organization accumulates a gazillion supporters with your help. Now that's the power of the internet, gathering people to support your cause is just a click away. You don't need to print out flyers or advertise on TV or radio just to inform others of the group or organization you've just created.
The question now is how can you convince these people to really go out and campaign for the causes that the group is fighting for? Would you give them freebies like t-shirts, wristbands, and other accessories funded by some large company to encourage them to attend in group meetings, conventions or rallies? I hope not.
There are only two kinds of people I know who use the internet. First, those who READ and DIGEST whatever information they get on the net. Second, those who just know how to CLICK and JERK-OFF to whatever they see on the net. So I hope the organizations and groups who really wanted to recruit members over the net make the most out of this powerful tool to get in touch with the first kind of people I just mentioned. Furthermore, they really should cater to these people the real deal of being part of the organization. There should be a concrete goal and not an abstract one.
To the readers of my blog. I know you have your own principles and ideologies and the fact that you have a blog you want to voice out whatever it is that's on your mind. That fact alone proves that you stand your ground and you are capable of a rational and conscientious choice in terms of deciding to support an organization or group and when I say SUPPORT, it does not only mean signing up online, because if that's what you think of the word SUPPORT then you're no different than the most apathetic creature in this planet. Don't ask me what that creature is, I have yet to discover it.