Who doesn’t want to change the world? I’m sure, if you think about it, you could easily come up with dozens of small changes both locally and internationally that could make the world a better place. I know I can. But then, as a child, I used to put myself to sleep each night with fantasies where I saved animals from avalanches, hurricanes and whatever else my childish brain came up with. Maybe when I was wrapping an imaginary blanket around an imaginary puppy and setting it before the imaginary fire to get warm for the bazillionth night (uh, does that mean I was doing this as an adult?…no comment) I just managed to brainwash myself into thinking, I can do this. Someday I will make a difference. Someday…
Fast forwarding to now I find that the enflamed grain of wanting to help still burns brightly in my brain, but it’s dulled by the day to day, by being so tired after work I can barely bring myself to blog let alone save the world (and I apologize for the hiatus to all that may have noticed. Another TV induced zombieland stint may have eaten my soul for a bit – well, that and life. I didn’t realize I had one of those. Who knew?). Not to mention the nagging little voice in the back of my head that says “You? Ha. You won’t make a difference, Bub. It takes more than you to move a mountain.” To that I say, neigh! (Ok, I know it’s nay…but neigh amuses me. Heh heh. Neigh.)
So why neigh? (heh heh, neigh). Because social media has a wonderful tool that anyone can use to change the world. It has been coined Slacktivism and sounds kind of useless (Slacker +activism has to = fail, right?), but I think it’s also a positive thing. So, lets bring out the balloons and streamers and give it a little fanfare.
What is Slacktivism? Basically it’s when a slacker like me with activisty ideals goes out and signs an online petition, joins a group, likes stuff on Facebook or WordPress and otherwise lends support by clicking rather than going out and waving banners. Some hrumphers think this is wishy washy and that if you truly want change you have to go out and do the leg work. They feel that because you clicked your mouse and feel like you did something you won’t do more, and that way of thinking is detrimental to true activism. I can see their point. Sure, I believe we can all be like Ghandi, Harvey Milk, Alison Thompson and Mother Teresa…but it takes work. And most of us spent the whole day working already. We’re tired. We want a break. But, we do still want change. We do want to help. To do this, we need something to get us motivated. For that, I think Slacktivism is key.
You see, by going to websites to sign online petitions like the international Avaaz.org, Australia’s Getup!, US based but internationally used Change.org, the social website care2.com and a myriad of other online petitions, it gets the activisty juices flowing and can help you find causes you might want to be part of, issues you didn’t know about, and people who think the same way you do. Sure, maybe signing a petition from the comfort of your own home in your pajamas does not compare with getting in a dingy and getting in the way of whaler boats, but it is something everyone can easily do. And they do help. Squeaky wheels get grease. If enough people virtually squeak do they really make a sound? The websites above claim success stories. That seems to me like a solid mayhap.
It gets better. Say you want to do something and you want people to help you do it. Some sites will allow you to make your own petitions for gathering signatures for a cause close to you, and if you get enough support, than real change could happen. All because you did it. In your pajamas. At 4 am. From home.
We can do this. It really is the least we can do, which as a slacker, I can appreciate and consider. Mayhap you will to? Don’t say neigh. (heh heh Neigh) We can be the change we want to see. We can get there. Slackers Unite!