Slacktivism. Or How We Support Without Real Support.

Posted on 24th Sep 2012 by Scott Goodson in Blog

by Kateryna Topol

A while back I came across a term Slacktivism. It fascinated me right away not because it is an inherently fascinating word but because of what it stood for - lazy activism. In the times of active social media Slacktivism is a one-click way of supporting an issue or a cause which in most cases have very little or no practical effect.

Activism use to be about action; supporting a cause use to be about doing something to move it forward and not merrily stating “I support”. In some cases the governing body of the cause will actually put forth a value such as donate a dollar per each LIKE but in most cases a LIKE is not worth anything more than a number. The power might be in numbers but now that we have an option to express our support in one click and never talk about it again the number is worthless. The thousand of people who LIKEd this page, or this post will not save a starving child, or change policy, or raise money for those who lost their homes to natural disasters.

When it comes to supporting a cause or driving action, social media strategies must be more aggressive in the Ask and more serious about action outcome. A LIKE should never be just a LIKE and a ReTweet should never be just a ReTweet. Cause related social media ask should entail tangible outcome to each action should it be donation or viral promotion.

The nature of social media action is inherently simple but it should not be one easily forgotten or useless.

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