You might be a Slacktivist…

…if you’ve ever put one of these on your car.

(image courtesy of victorystore.com)

…or worn one of these.

(image courtesy of wristbandconnection.com)

slactivism (ˈslæktɪˌvɪzəm) — n

the public proclaiming of one’s political beliefs through activities that require little effort or commitment

Since the general theme of the class’ posts this week seems to be infographics, I thought this one was an interesting follow up to my earlier post on mobile donors.

(image courtesy of mashable.com)

On one hand-

I think that the chain reaction of events that social media capable of putting into action is incredible. Take the statistics on Red Cross mobile donations after the Haiti earthquake, or the awareness that Kony 2012 brought about in a matter of hours. The ability to incite action and awareness so immediately is fascinating.

Supporting a cause through social media also fills our desire to be part of something. And, social media makes it easy to participate, and to define ourselves to our friends/followers. Requesting a donation via text utilizes a medium that is already part of daily life to facilitate a charitable action. Campaigns like these succeed because they seem to follow an 80/20 principle. Do 80% of the work for your audience, and ask them to do just 20%.

Does social media make us more informed by providing access to more information than ever? Is it creating more positive social change than ever before?

Then again, I also wonder-

Does social media and technology also make us lazier?

Does it cause groupthink?

Are slacktivists really informed about the causes they support?

After its hugely successful viral campaign a few weeks ago, the credibility of Invisible Children, the non-profit behind Kony 2012, was questioned.

The Pew Research I posted about yesterday reports that few mobile donors actively follow up on the uses of their donations.

What do you think?

Random research tip: If you are not already, follow your topic or related organizations on Twitter. Like Google Alerts, is another way to bring information to you. I search Twitter by keywords and trending topics for information as well.

Resources

Fox, Z. (2012, April 3). Mashable. Retrieved April 4, 2012, from Why ‘Slacktivists’ Are More Active Than You Think [INFOGRAPHIC]: http://mashable.com/2012/04/03/slacktivism-origin

slactivism. Retrieved April 6, 2012, from Dictionary.com: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/slactivism?s=t

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