Tuesday 30 August 2011

Slacktivism vs. making a difference

Slacktivism (sometimes slactivism or clicktivism) is a portmanteau formed out of the words slacker and activism. The word is usually considered a pejorative term that 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 acts tend to require minimal personal effort from the slacktivist.

Dancing to the music
'Walk for the cure', as if walking will do anything. Those who participate believe they are 'raising awareness'. As if no one has been aware of cancer before? They suck friends into donating.

"It is always with the best intentions that the worst work is done," observed Oscar Wilde.

Unfortunately, these fundraisers have high overhead costs, and much of the money goes into administration, rather than research.
I know where my time and energy goes: directly to a human being. There is so much to having direct services.
That is my preference, especially with the Pink Ribbon, Inc.
 machine that has hijacked the cancer cause. Even the Cancer Society has highjacked Jack Layton's death to promote their 'fight against cancer'. His loss is their gain. 

Not all my hospice clients see themselves as victims. They see themselves as people who need someone. And we get so much back from helping another person.

If you do not donate, click on the button, sign the petition, 'friends' feel you do not care. I'm tired of my 'friends' who are actually causes. People looking for press for their cause.
Then there are the discussions that range from bizarre to ignorant. Hijacking a cause for marketing purposes, or comments that are off-track, off-topic, or worse, selling something. Purported horror stories that convince us of a horrible wrong. There are three sides to everything: theirs, theirs, and the truth.

Then there are the ubiquitous Facebook groups:

I support Jack Layton in his fight against Cancer 

| Facebook

I support Jack Layton in his fight against Cancer - Showing our support for Jack Layton | Facebook.

Wii bowling
As if joining a group like this something will be done. The caregivers and care recipients are busy working hard.

We know how to change our lives to prevent some cancers: eat well, fresh foods, mostly plants; exercise, keep your weight down; reduce salt intake, but no one is immune. Marathon runners have heart attacks. We don't know why the body breaks down.

But it does.

Facebook mobilizes masses - but what for? - The Globe and Mail

7 Dec 2009 – It's called "slacktivism," and it runs rampant on social media. And for good reason. ... Because what drives slacktivism is mostly ego.


or activism on Facebook? - USATODAY.com

In fact, the title of this post -- "Slacktivism or Activism" -- is the title of a panel I'm sitting on this weekend at American University's Social Learning Summit. 

Slacktivism: Why Snopes got it Wrong About Internet Petitions 


Concert in long-term care
28 Apr 2010 – But aren't online petitions still just "slacktivism"? Let's look at ... Bottom line, the assumptions behind "slacktivism" are just plain wrong. 

CBC.ca | Day 6 | Sophie Kohn: Disliking 


8 Oct 2010 – This ridiculous campaign is only the latest example of "slacktivism," and ... The problem with slacktivism is it makes people feel they've made a difference.

No Slacktivism Here - The Agenda - The Agenda Blogs - Steve Paikin

25 Jan 2010 – After all, "slacktivism" is all the rage these days, with many pundits looking skeptically at the "commitment" it takes to click your disapproval. 

1 comment:

Kay L. Davies said...

Whoa, that's telling 'em, Jenn.
Your photos remind me of the people who visited the care facility where my parents lived before they died. The patients loved to have singers come in to entertain them, and the staff members often danced with the patients.
I enjoyed making up "Name That Tune" games and MC-ing them for the residents of Mom's wing of the facility. My brother enjoyed singing for the patients in Dad's wing.
My youngest brother, an artist, would draw cartoons on the blackboard every time he went in to visit Dad, thus making the staff giggle.
After Mom died, and again after Dad died, we gave money with specific instructions to buy something we knew was needed for the happiness of the patients, and donated such things as the TV, radio, CD-player, etc., from Mom's and Dad's rooms.
Because we had come to know so many of the other patients, we wanted them to have things we knew they would enjoy.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel