Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I learned a new word from Snopes.com yesterday and wanted to share it:

is the search for the ultimate feel-good that derives from having come to society's rescue without actually getting one's hands dirty, volunteering any of one's time, or opening one's wallet. It's slacktivism that prompts us to forward appeals for business cards on behalf of a dying child intent upon having his name recorded in the Guinness World Book of Records or exhortations to others to continue circulating a particular e-mail because some big company has supposedly promised that every forward will generate monies for the care of a languishing tot. Likewise, it's slacktivism that prompts us to want to join a boycott of designated gas companies or eschew buying gasoline on a particular day rather than reduce our personal consumption of fossil fuels by driving less and taking the bus more often. Slacktivism comes in many forms, but its defining characteristic is its central theme of doing good with little or no effort on the part of the person inspired to participate, through the mechanisms of forwarding, exhorting, collecting, or e-signing.

This was an eye-opening, punch-in-the-gut for me. If you're like
me, and I'm guessing some of you are, it is easy to get on face-
book and "like" until your little heart is content. The problem
with this is when we allow that little click of the "like" to produce
within us a feeling of accomplishment but we really haven't done
a thing.

Sure, we can post our bra color and say we are supporting the
fight against breast cancer, but are our checkbooks, time and
energies doing anything about it?

Sure, we can post a cartoon character in our profile picture and
say we're doing our part to raise awareness of child abuse, but
when it comes down to it, are we really helping in anyway, or are
we just posing and making our friends think there is some sort
of substance to us?

Don't fall for the trap. As Public Enemy would say, "Don't believe
the hype!" Put your money, time, energy, etc. where your mouth
(facebook post, "like" button) is and do something to make a
real difference.


  1. Ouch. Hit where it hurts. Good post - what I needed to hear.

  2. So true... social networking has made it so easy to be a slacktivist without even realizing it!