Studies Show that Social Media “Slacktivists” Contribute to the Virility of Cause Awareness
You know them…#PrayForParis #Kony2012, #BringBackOurGirls, #ICantBreathe, #StayMadAbby…and the list goes on. What makes them different from causes a decade ago is that their primary platforms were social media. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have evolved into media outlets to share events with the entire world. We’ve seen social media aid in real time communications in devastated countries. Sometimes news even breaks first on social media platforms.
Meanwhile, many of us watch tragedy unfold from our computer and phone screens offering up likes and profile pic changes to show our support. This type of support (which i’m guilty of) is called Slacktivism has caught flack for acting as a substitute for doing the real work.
Research has shown that people who engage in slacktivism are less likely to engage in more meaningful ways with the cause later on. If you were wondering what more you could do to support the causes that land on your timeline, don’t fret. What you’re already doing could actually be enough. A new study by PLOS ONE shows that Slacktivist play a key role in helping movements gain attention.
That’s good enough right? Of course not, but it’s a great start. Next time you cross paths with a cause, go ahead and like it, change your profile pic and use the hashtag. Don’t forget to find other ways to be involved that require you putting on pants.