Slacktivism via social media has been a hot topic for a while now. There is always a ridiculous chain message going around that tells you to post something as your status in order to raise awareness for a cause. These messages are spread either through private message or via a ‘please repost’ status update. The worst part of these updates? Most people don’t seem to even check the details before hitting share.
There have been countless times that I seen posts about suicide shared with incorrect details. This doesn’t help anyone. Why bother sharing a post which outlines phone numbers to call if they aren’t right? It’s slacktivism.
So what exactly is slacktivism? The word is the love child of slack and activism. It was a word coined for those people who think that sharing a status update, retweeting a message or posting a random update is all that needs to be done to bring awareness to an issue. These issues include health care, social justice and political causes. It is often also the belief that awareness is all that an issue needs.
Every single time an article is written about why slacktivism is well, slack, there is always numerous people declaring ‘but it brings awareness and that’s always good’. Well no, random internet commenter not all awareness is good. Awareness that creates secrecy, misinforms and doesn’t actually do anything for the cause is not good.
We’re also past the point of awareness for so many issues. We’re all aware of suicide, disabilities and cancer. These issues need money, they need donations and your voice to a local politician. They don’t need a love heart posted on your wall. They don’t need you to pour a bucket of ice over your head. They also don’t need you to zip it.
The next time you see a status update that asks you to repost I implore you to fact check before doing so. Don’t just post a heart on your wall, ask your friends to remember to check their breasts regularly. Don’t pour ice over your head, disabled people don’t need you to simulate their illness before donating money to a cause.
Write a letter to your local politician, donate goods to a women’s shelter, donate feminine hygiene products for homeless women or volunteer your time with a charity. You can also donate money to keep kids helpline open, to provide more lifeline counsellors, or to provide a breast care nurse. DO something more than pressing share on a post on social media.