When Does Slacktivism Help?

Slactivism is a combination of the words “slacker” and “activism.”

It comes up a lot in the context of supporting causes on social media. Some people think liking a post, using a hashtag, or passing on a message in support of a cause is useless and narcissistic. Others think that small social actions can contribute to a campaign and lead to more involved participation.

Personally, I side with the second group. Sometimes we feel we’ve done our duty by quickly liking or retweeting a post without much consideration. Sometimes we should give more thought to the issue or make more of an effort to help. But small actions can add up, especially in a communication network. Plus, sometimes small actions make it easier for people to take bigger steps later on.

What does it take for slacktivism to make a difference? We want people to do things that actually help in some way. What should we be asking people to do?

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