We’ve all done it. Liked that page on Facebook, signed that petition online. We’re changing the world one click at a time! But are we really even doing anything?
A lot of people are very critical of younger generations and their political involvement, mostly because a lot of it is done online and not seen by every member of the population.
Back in the day, if you wanted to make a political statement or spread a message, you wrote in to the paper or held a placard on a street corner. You organised marches down busy streets, or you burned bras on the side of a highway. It got your message out, and if you were lucky, it would be picked up by mainstream media.
But that’s not how things work these days. Today, you post a political status on Facebook, get feedback instantly and, if it’s good, it’ll get shared and your message will spread. It’s so much quicker and easier to be an activist online. But is that necessarily ‘slacktivism*’? Does that mean that people that do that are lazy? Maybe they’re smarter for doing something an easier way.
The internet and social media have allowed the growth of ‘clicktivism**’ over recent years. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It’s simply just a different way of getting message out there. A different way of activism.
I believe that this is why older generations are so critical of younger generations’ political involvement. It’s just done online, in a different way than it would have been done 50 years ago. Just because people can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
* actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement
** the use of social media and the Internet to advance social causes