Saturday, July 23, 2011


Protest Series 3

This is a word I recently discovered.  According to Wikipedia, slacktivism was formed from the words "slacker" and "activism" and "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 act tends to require minimal personal effort."  When I discovered this term, I was horrified as I realized I've been guilty of it.  

Most of us are aware of what slacktivism is.  It's when you're asked to click on something on the internet, such as "like" this to help spread the word about a cause or when you don a bracelet or ribbon in support of a marginalized group or when you put a bumper sticker on your car because you feel passionate about something.  Although the motivation behind these efforts is honest, they really have little or no effect.

Imagine if the civil rights workers purchased ribbons, pinned them on, and then sat at home watching Leave It to Beaver?  Of if the war protesters wore rubber bracelets with doves or peace signs on them, and then hung out at the university student centers?  Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been addressing empty spaces and we might still be in Vietnam.  There would have been no one on the front lines, causing mischief that could not be ignored until wrongs had been righted.  What movements or ideas need are people actually doing things.  

While ribbons, bracelets, bumper stickers, and a click of the mouse are all good and well, they are not enough.  Slacktivism produces awareness, but not results.

(Photo source:


Shona~ LALA dex press said...

I think I've mentioned this before, but a woman at my work who recently went through treatment for breast cancer went on a rant questioning how pink shirts are supposed to help with the battle against breast cancer.

Cherie said...

Shona, I can understand her frustration. Wearing pink does not equal a cure.

Deanna said...

Spreading awareness is good but it just isn't enough. I've "gotten out there" a few times recently and am determined to step it up. Thanks for a good post.

Cherie said...

Deanna, I need to get out there and join a protest one day - like you did. Problem is, there aren't many around here. I think a protest of one would be pretty ineffective.