Social media causes laziness

“Slacktivism” creates false sense of participation

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Social media causes laziness

Sara Tifft

As our generation continues to become more connected, users on sites such as Twitter and Facebook have created a new movement often referred to as “slacktivism.”

Users now use these sites as a medium for participating in social activism by liking pages and voicing their opinions, claiming they’re spreading awareness.

While this may be true, there are many more productive and efficient ways to support a cause.

A study by the Intelligence Group showed two out of three Millennials believe “a person on a computer, being aware and spreading the word” is capable of sparking more change than “a person on the street, rallying and protesting.”

This is the problem. While actively spreading awareness about a controversial topic is not harmful or counterproductive, going out and getting your hands dirty and creating a tangible change will yield a bigger difference.

Here at Park, students have already taken action on social issues aside from using social media, by creating the Student Organization Against Racism. This is a great way to make a change, by organizing a group of people with similar ideas who can together come up with a plan and discuss the topic at hand.

While many “slacktivists” claim they wouldn’t be a part of certain social movements if it weren’t for blogs and social media, according to a study by the Journal of Sociological Science, the majority of people who “like” a Facebook page for a cause don’t take further action or donate.

This type of activism is creating a way for people to show their support with a click of a mouse, but without the reliability of actually following up with their money or time. While it would be nice to think social media, which reaches one in four people worldwide, motivates people to leave their computer screen and engage in their community, it creates a false sense of change.

While this social media activism shouldn’t stop, our generation needs to be encouraged to donate their time and money to the cause in which they believe. Joining an organization, protesting on the streets and volunteering are monumentally more productive than posting, blogging, hashtagging or “liking.” We are a very globally aware generation; all we need is the realization that real change is possible without a computer.

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