First post, you probably all deserve some sort of deeper exploration of the ‘why’ behind this campaign… so to kick off, let’s explain slacktivism.
Often called armchair activism, slacktivism has been thus dubbed by those that think contributing to dialogue online through the use of hashtags and likes, shares, follows is really not doing much at all. You’ve seen their posts, you’ve read their comments. When you changed your profile photo on Facebook so it had a French flag transparency over it, you most likely copped some snark from people who wondered who you were really helping. You’ve probably read some negative articles about how the 22 Push Up Challenge is doing nothing to help veterans deal with their PTSD. And sure, these opinions don’t just come from people who want to criticise.
These opinions have come from academic sources, trusted news media outlets, respected journalists, and even some of the charities themselves. That makes for very tricky terrain knowing who to trust.
Is the act of ‘liking’ someone’s heartfelt status update about #BlackLivesMatter any less genuine of a sentimental expression as donating money to UNICEF? Should any act of positivity ever be met with backlash? What critics of ‘slacktivism’ fail to realise, is that by giving the word pejorative connotations they could be the cause of people continuing to act on these sentiments at all.
In this way, the social problem Your Slacktivity Feed needs to tackle is really twofold.
Problem Part 1: changing the attitudes surrounding the sorts of activism that can be achieved whist sitting on your couch, next to a stranger on the train, or late at night when we all start contemplating our reason for being (don’t lie, we all do it).
Problem Part 2: making recognising social problems and finding ways to connect with and contribute to them more deeply.
There are so many brilliant ways online now to connect with not only charities but not-for-profit organisations that are all trying to do their part in making our world a better place, but unless you’re the super keen, you’re probably unlikely to cross accidental paths with them. What you do come across however, are those viral movements that sweep the planet. We see thousands of opportunities a month to have those light touch moments, and given how quickly these can be achieved it really isn’t surprising. The problem is, there is nothing light-touch or quick about the current ways we can engage more deeply.
Millennials do not have a problem with wanting to discuss and get involved in fixing the world’s problems. The problem is that we can’t all be bleeding hearts all day every day. Nor can we give all our time and money to every possible cause we come into contact with. And that’s where Your Slacktivity Feed comes in. Let’s embrace what it is online activists CAN do, and let’s get them over the line.
From here on out, Your Slacktivity Feed will be your kind of consultant on all things social innovation. Come across something that really bothers you about the world, and want to know how to help or who else out there feels the same? We will be constantly building a database of local and international movements already in progress for you to join. Come across something that we can’t link you to, well maybe you’re one of the few wanting to get something started. How will we help you then? Well, not only will there be links to well-established social movement tools like Change.Org, but each week we will be going through some tips and tricks to really breaking ground with getting your movement off the ground. There’ll also be some fun case studies of other social innovation that has started or had some sort of base online.
The coolest part is though, that we want collaboration. If you hear about the great work some organisation, or individual is doing, let us know! We will add it to the database, and hopefully spread their messages as well. Can’t wait to get started!