Social Activism Means Nothing

Nov 15, 12 Social Activism Means Nothing

Social, social, social. It has become a dominant and constant presence in our day to day lives. Companies, advertisers, marketing…they are all trying to leverage Social. Tap into that community. For profit, for gain, for engaging with an audience. Its almost a news source, but yet another pitfall of deceit (Hurricane Sandy and the fake pictures/tweets come to mind). But people are also using it for groundswell political movements, to raise up issues (GMO, North Korea), to “try to make a difference” by sharing their views and doing (what they think) is getting “issues” out there.

But here’s the thing: it doesn’t work. It’s faux support, faux effort, but true bullshit.

Let’s look at an example: 1770s…the founding fathers of the United States. With smartphones, twitter, and facebook. Those of you reading this in America…you’d still be paying taxes to the crown. Why? Because tweeting is not acting. Retweeting is not doing. These simple actions make it easy for anyone to get into the conversation, and wrongly feel they are supporting the cause. You know what supports the cause? Action. Decision. Donations. Rallies. Physical support with volunteering. Instead of the outlet being actual physical action and support and protest and change, the easy outlet is now just to make claims in the void of the internet. It is disguised futility.

Tweeting “We should help feed the hungry children in Africa” means nothing. It lets over-privileged westerners feel like they’ve done something so they can sleep at night and feel good about themselves while doing nothing.

Red Cross tweets equaling donations? That’s where it gets a bit more real…but it still is nothing compared to what you could be doing. In that particular case, Social helps…it uses the laziness of the social media as a strength. Getting people to whip out a credit card, checkbook, or paypal account and enter all their info…far less preferred over hitting a simple button, in a rush of emotion and support in the moment, that will charge them that donation amount. Social does well here, it uses its weaknesses as strengths…but more should be done…can be done.

We are creating a culture of appearance, and in a country founded on dissent and loud and vocal views and debates…that is shocking and frightening. Western society has chosen to be lead down a path that allows them to wallow in their comfort and waive a few fingers and swipe a few screens from afar and be a good citizen of planet earth. This is not reality. It is deception. And a deception most of us are willfully following because we seem to truly feel as if we are doing good in the world by doing anything to avoid physical dedication. Every change starts with conversation, but Social has allowed us to change change to be only about the conversation…never the true effort change takes and requires.

Social Activism is a front for laziness that allows the appearance of action, dedication, and support with no effort and no real impact. Change requires effort. Real effort. If one wants to see change, and one feels strongly enough in that (as our Founding Fathers, and so many others in those times, did), then actually do something about it.

And let me be clear, because the definitions have changed incorrectly. Tweeting is not doing. Facebook shares and posts is not doing. It is delusional, and it allows you to be controlled and maintained.

Get off your lazy ass and have the courage of your convictions…or get new convictions.

So I will leave you with a few points that I hope people will consider:

  • Read more than you Retweet
  • Act instead of #act
  • Watching a documentary does not an expert make
  • Stand up and speak, don’t just browse
  • Do not email, tweet, or Facebook your elected representatives…write actual letters, send faxes…a lot of them. Go visit them and drive your point home (this is your right in our democratic republic) — Manifest your will and your voice in a true physical form, instead of being marginalized and ineffective under the guise of proficiency
  • Do instead of Like. Do almost anything other than Like: donate, volunteer, help, act
  1. Quicksilver, Applescript, and Nabaztag: For The Win
  2. So You Hate Flash
  3. The Crystal Method and Obama!
  4. No More Kilts at eTech!
  5. T-Shirt Sized Estimates are Moronic