Saturday Night Live hit the nail of Slacktivism right on the head.
This past Saturday, comedian Louis C.K. hosted the long-running comedy sketch show. Among the several typical deprecating, satirical sketches was a faux-music video in vague Reggae style praising the socially conscious, if lazy social media postings of an average joe named Scott.
SNL addressed an interesting issue which is gaining ground in the realm of social media.
For those unfamiliar with the term, Slacktivism is a phenomenon where people will post about issues on social media but will not engage with the issue outside of the internet. This is a kind of dangerous complacency that cannot stand in the current political climate and in modern world.
Of course, that isn’t to say that people shouldn’t be active on social media with their positions and convictions. Far from it. My philosophy is “let it fly…but put your money where your mouth is.” A lot of people have done just that. Some, still, have not.
Allow me to present two brief case studies.
In January, the ACLU raised $24 million in donations, predominantly online, in retaliation for the current administration’s first attempt at a travel ban. This is a good example of virtual activism.
The Women’s March on Washington attracted various celebrities, from Janelle Monaé to Cecile Richards. Among the noticeably absent self-described “feminists” was Taylor Swift, who, saw fit to post about it on Twitter, but not attend the march or any of the sister rallies, garnering anger and wrath from the internet. Slacktivism at its finest.
We know the problem. So how do we marry the virtual and the reality?
It’s important for people to realize that in order for any real change to be affected, posting one mere article is not going to cut it. Don’t just post applause emojis for different rallies or donation stories like Scott does. Sure, make your opinion known; post that article that makes you outraged, but also go to rallies. Go to town halls. Vote. Donate. Be present.
As a certain President once said, “don’t boo–vote.”
You can watch the “Thank You, Scott” video here.