The past year seems to have seem to have played host to a wave of activism and social involvement in the United States the likes of which we have not seen since the Vietnam War era. Sure, there have been marches and rallies on a semi-regular basis in one place or another all over the country. But, even civil disobedience has spiked, as demonstrated in the #Occupy movements in the wake of the financial markets crash and bailouts. People bypassed the genteel “get-a-permit” processes and demanded to be heard, often suffereing the physical consequences of their actions.
But, seemingly on the other end of the activism spectrum from those people being tear-gassed and billy clubbed lies the “slacktivist”. This creature talks the talk, re-tweeting, embedding YouTube videos, liking and commenting on Facebook. They talk about Kony, about Trayvon Martin, about gas prices. They spread online petitions and start Tumblrs on causes. But, are their “efforts” at affecting social change really worth anything? Or are they just fooling themselves into thinking that they are part of the struggle?
A new infographic released by Sortable tackles the topic of “slacktivism”, starting with this definition:
Doing something in support of an issue or cause that requires minimum personal effort.