So you want to make the world a better place?
Well, guess what? Most people of our generation do but our soft Millennials are known for being super sensitive, all socially and environmentally conscious and “shout from the rooftops” anytime something mildly displeases them. Bunch of pussies with bad hair is what I say.
Sure they recycle. They go vegan. They support progressive politicians. And they push for better work conditions so that they can work less and get paid more. Bah…
Pseudo-Activism is also a trend among millennials to indulge in feel-good clicktivism that doesn’t accomplish much in the real world but allows clicktivists to pat themselves on the back, feel good about “doing their part”, and go back to eating a sandwich while watching cat videos. It’s about as effective as giving a “like” on facebook to heal someone’s cancer.
What’s clicktivism? Here’s how Urban Dictionary defines it:
“The act or habit of using the internet as a primary means of influencing public opinion on matters of politics, religion or other social concerns. Methods may include websites, online petitions and mass email campaigns.”
Maybe it works for Presidential elections. But has that ever brought any good?
Let’s take a look at three examples of pseudo-activism campaigns which made the lazy feel good about themselves while nothing really changed other than a bunch of soccer moms getting upset about bad conditions on the other side of the world:
Kony 2012 is a short film produced by Invisible Children, Inc. with the intention of making Joseph Kony, an indicted war criminal who is wanted by International Crime Court, globally known, with the hope of getting him arrested by the end of 2012.
It went viral. And, of course, it’s understandable, people got outraged when they saw it, then indignantly shared it on social media. But one can’t help but wonder how many of those people actually took the time out to learn about the complicated situation in the region, researched the mayhem and war crimes, exposed the true dealings of corruption which resulted in a global force to come down and bring true justice. None. All sympathy and whining.
And how many people who shared the video kept following developments regarding LRA once Kony 2012 craze was over? I’m pretty sure that if you’d ask a random person who was outraged about it back then whether they know whether or not Joseph Kony was arrested and put to trial, you wouldn’t get a solicited answer.
By the way, just in case you are interested, Joseph Kony is still out there.
In April 2014, an Islamic extremist group Boko Haram kidnapped over 200 school girls from Chibok, Nigeria with the intention of using them as sex slaves.
This caused outrage all over the world. #BringBackOurGirls hashtag was created and used with the hope of keeping the story in the media and driving international attention to it. Well, the hashtag itself received over 2 million retweets, and did bring attention to the issue, at least for a while… And then everyone moved on to their cushy sofas and kept on getting fat on Big Macs and Soda.
Once again, one wonders, how many of the people who flooded Twitter with #BringBackOurGirls tweets did their research, exposed the real corruption, rape and murders by Boko Haram and followed the situation after the media stopped covering it? How many of them know what happened to “our” girls they once cared about?
Again, just in case you are interested, some of the girls managed to escape, but the faith of the rest remains unknown. So much for hashtags.
#YesAllWomen is a Twitter campaign in which users share examples of misogyny, sexual harassment, and violence against women.
It was created as a reaction to #NotAllMen. The point was to express that while not all men are sexist, all women experience sexism and harassment.
It was effective in a sense that it sparked a lot of conversations on Twitter, including amusing flame wars between radical feminists and MRA crazies, and… Well, that seems to be about it, really.
And, for the third time, one can’t help but wonder, out of all the people who used #YesAllWomen hashtag, how many of them took action to address the problems being discussed?
How many of them stood up for a woman who was being harassed in real life? How many of them volunteered at a local women’s shelter? How many of them donated money to organizations that provide support for rape victims?
And how many of them were able to see the big picture, realize that women in the developing world have it worse, and donated money to organizations that help girls and women get access to basic necessities, such as clean water, food, and education?
Reality check: likes, shares, and tweets are not going to save the world.
Here’s the thing – Liking, sharing and tweeting is easy. One click… And you get to feel like you are actually doing something big. But what does it actually accomplish?
Drop all the buzzwords. Likes, shares and tweets don’t get people access to clean out the corrupt governments, put criminals behind bars and destroy the enemy. It also doesn’t result in clean water and nutritious food. They’re not enough to build schools and give people access to education. You know it, I know it, and we all know it. So let’s stop pretending that we are making a difference by clicking around and get effective. Get Aggressive. Be unwaivering in your task to bring those who have escaped the guillotine of Justice to the stand to feel the blade of karma.
It will change lives.
So do you want to keep whining about how horrible the world is on social media… Or do you want to actually change that world for the better?
The decision is yours.