When was the last time you weighed in with your opinion or lodged an online protest for an issue. Perhaps, seconds before reading this article. The world of social media has given birth to many a keyboard warriors and that is evident from a huge number of daily posts with opinions, views and reviews posted across social media. But even in that there is a certain section of netizens who would simply retweet someone else’s tweet, change their Display Picture (DP) or just use a trending hashtag. And there’s a word for such behaviour. It’s called ‘Slacktivism’!
The Urban Dictionary defines slacktivism as “the self-deluded idea that by liking, sharing, or retweeting something you are helping out”.
But is such slacktivism – or “clicktivism” really so useless? There are grounds to believe that online activism is more effective than many may think. And recent research suggests it is used by the politicians to spread beliefs and ideas.
Evidence suggests that clicktivism can be very effective in spreading lesser-known ideas and publicising non-mainstream beliefs. While one tweet or post won’t change the world, thousands of them can spread beliefs.
But as Deen Freelon at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill concludes, “Clicktivism has a major effect in terms of offering movements an alternative pathway to the public.”
So if you’re slacker on the net, slack on!