Have you heard the word slacktivist? According to wikipedia slacktivist is a portmanteau word created from slacker and activist. If you're like me you said, "Port man what?" A quick look up of that word: A portmanteau word is a word formed by merging the sounds and meanings of two different words. Now that we're on the same page...
A slacktivist therefore is someone who purports to support causes, but doesn't actually want to expend much, if any, effort in that support. A slacktivist will have your back...just as long as it isn't too hard or interfer with their life too much. There is a plethora of opportunities that actually require you to do essentially nothing. Examples include: signing online petitions, wearing Livestrong bracelets, texting in your donation for whatever natural disaster has just occurred.
What do you think...is it good or bad?
To be honest, I have mixed feelings. I believe when people have to put in time and sweat into a cause it's much more likely to be meaningful to them and the 'cause' is more likely to succeed in the end. Jimmy Kimmel recently said at the White House Correspondents' Dinner: "We used to march. Now we occupy." It was in reference to the obesity problem/general lack of exercise in the US, but it also highlights a coach pototo mentality in regards to activism.
Today's families seem on the go more than ever (remind me again how technology's supposed to give us more leisure time). Spending time working in a shelter or food bank or organizing a protest to highlight the need for a change might not rise up to a priority for them with their limited free time. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, it doesn't necessarily mean they don't care. Is texting a $5 donation for Relief for Haiti as out of touch and unfeeling as the infamous quote "Let them eat cake" attributed to Marie Antoinette?
For the organizations that send manpower and resources to disaster sites and for researchers that spend countless hours studying, experimenting, testing how the money came in probably is less important than the fact it came in. Thinking about it from their point of view, I'm all for making it as easy as possible to donate--buy products that donate back to charities, text in donations to the Red Cross, wear bracelets or ribbons. Ultimately though, my motivator invokes another saying--this one from Jesus, "It is better to give than receive." I would encourage people to get involved (in fact 'people need to get involved' were the first words that came out of my mouth when the phrase embrace activism came into my head!) Getting involved gives you a sense of empowerment; putting in time gives you some ownership of the outcome; participating in creating change for the greater good gives a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. In other words, it's GOOD for YOU to DO GOOD!
Don't just show you care...give a damn
Health, Wellness & CURES!!
ps. Embrace Activism was highlighted for Philanthropy Friday by another jennifer blog...read about it here