Critical Thinking

the #newschool: #slacktivism

I’m no activist. Never have thought I was. But reading recently about this new term “slacktivism” interested me immediately. Slacktivism is the practice of supporting progressive causes in name, but not actually doing any work. A person engaging in slacktivism might post or tweet about a cause or wear a graphic t-shirt about the cause, but never actually lift a finger to make change happen.

Slacktivism is interesting to me for two reasons. First, I like neologisms. And next to the derogatory “libtard,” which made me laugh out loud the first time I heard it, this is one of the better two-word unions. Second, slacktivism reaches to the heart of the problem today with ideas like “raising awareness” and “following.” Making people aware of a social problem or injustice has value when the newly aware people change their behavior and join in the solution. Otherwise, awareness is just a nonchalant, passive recognition of unacceptable realities. Action is what makes a difference.

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