Slacktivism: Is it worth the effort?

Identified as the act of showing support for a cause but only truly being beneficial to the egos of people participating in this so-called activism. The acts tend to require minimal personal effort from the slacktivist. Websites are now integrating social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook into their website interface to allow people to like, share and tweet an interesting topic without using any effort.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Bring Back Our Girls and the Kony 2012 are examples where simply clicking like or share made people feel good about helping the world by demonstrating their support for these causes. However, in reality, their likes, shares and retweets are only bringing this issues to light but not doing anything to solve the issue.


According to Yu-Hao Lee and Gary Hsieh at Michigan State University, with their paper, ‘Does Slacktivism Hurt Activism?: The Effects of Moral Balancing and Consistency in Online Activism,’ they define slacktivism as “low-risk, low-cost activity via social media whose purpose is to raise awareness, produce change, or grant satisfaction to the person engaged in the activity.”

There is nothing wrong in posting, sharing and liking videos and articles. Bringing to light these issues may aggregate an active campaign, but without action, the impact is insignificant.


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