A Case for Slacktivism
Yes, I’m That Guy, And You Should Be Too…
I try to keep a separated social media presence. I am on the big three (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook), and I use them all differently. Instagram is my picture sharing utility, I post there to share photos to all three social media sites. Facebook is generally just for my family and friends, I have a closed, small network (less than two hundred friends), and I try to keep my political posts to a minimum, or at the very least when I do post something political I make sure it’s thoughtful and that it has some sort of call to action, a positive step people can take. Twitter is more of my stream of conscious, it’s also totally open and where I have the biggest network (around six thousand followers last time I checked). The gloves are off on twitter… and I make no apologies for it.
Facebook is nice. It’s interesting to me to see the dichotomy between twitter and Facebook. Facebook is kids and what people are eating, what people are selling (everyone is selling something these days), what people are doing, and it’s great. Twitter is EVERYTHING IS GOING TO HELL!!!! Obviously, I’m a Democrat, so my timeline is mostly filled with people angry about what’s going on in the country right now, myself included.
It has been suggested to me in the past that I should refrain from posting politically, either on facebook or twitter. The thing is, I have to ask now more than ever; why aren’t more people? Why aren’t more people upset about what is happening in the country? Why aren’t more people calling their representatives, why aren’t more people worried about their neighbors, about people on the margins, why aren’t more people upset about a President firing the guy leading an investigation against him?
I used to work for a place that had an adamant “don’t talk politics on social media” rule for their employees. So I get it for those places. I mean, I don’t get it… but I do, I guess. I also understand that there’s a lot of people who just don’t want to wade into the shitshow of online arguments. I get that, but there are great tools to avoid that (block and unfollow, for starters). There’s a saying, that all it takes for evil (yes, evil) to win is for good people to stand by and do nothing. There is so much insanity coming out of this Whitehouse, that if you aren’t upset, I can’t help but ask if you’re either;
a.) not paying attention, or
b.) secretly rich and hoping for one of the GOP’s promised tax cuts
Listen. I understand I’m not entirely normal. According to my Meyers-Briggs personality test, I am an INFJ. One of my defining characteristics reads:
“INFJs tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.
I am legitimately oftentimes jealous of people who either have no clue what is happening politically in this country or don’t care. It would be nice to not care so much for people I’ve never met. It’s not something I am able to turn off. I care about the 60-year old Trump-voter in Kentucky who could lose their insurance under the GOP’s new “healthcare” plan, even though they voted for Trump in the first place… which makes no damn sense, but here I am. I care about the people who will be swept up by Jeff Sessions renewed “war on drugs” which is really a windfall for the private prison industry. I care about a country that is getting screwed over by a President who just today said that his Whitehouse can’t be expected to tell the truth. I care about a country that is getting screwed over by a President that doesn’t give a damn about ethics and rules when they apply to him.
Slacktivism, or Social Media Activism, is not a waste of time, contrary to popular belief. As Jamie Hodari says in his fantastic Washington Post article;
“Slacktivism” has been cast as a threat to more traditional forms of activism. But it’s not. It’s a spur, a reminder of how those around you are feeling, and a kick in the pants to get involved in other ways.
A reminder of how those around you are feeling. As of right now, 98% of my twitter feed feels pissed off about the state the country, and 90% of my facebook friends are perfectly happy with it or are distracted enough to not notice.
That’s a hard thing to reconcile.