Why Doesn’t Anyone Take Action Anymore
In today’s world it has become increasingly easy to talk about and share important issues facing society. Social media has become a great tool in making it easier for people to show support for issues they feel strongly about. However, this does not necessarily mean that people are actively taking action to help solve these issues. There still seems to be a disconnect between people’s knowledge and acting on problems.
Social Movements Today
Years ago, in order to start a social movement, you had to be out on the streets taking part in protests, handing out pamphlets, or talking to news reporters in order to be heard. Today, things are a little different. It’s become the new norm for social movements to use social media as their new way of getting their voices heard. It is thanks to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that social movements are able to gain huge numbers of support in almost no time at all. According to Pew Research Center in 2018, 34% of Americans took part in a group on social media that shares interest in an issue or cause and 32% of Americans have encouraged others to take action on issues. However, there seems to be some debate on whether taking part in a social movement on social media is truly taking action in and supporting the movement or if it is simple “slacktivism”.
Slacktivism is a newer word that has been used to describe this new form of activism seen in the age of social media. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, slacktivism is an “activity that uses the internet to support political or social causes in a way that does not need much effort”. In other words, it is a term that usually has a negative connotation and is used to describe people who simply like, share, or repost about social movements but never truly take action. However, there are up sides to slacktivism by the way that it still allows people to learn about issues that they may have never thought about before. And those who are participating in slacktivism are still participating and doing something to raise awareness which in many cases is the first step towards solving the issues at hand.
From Awareness to Action
While awareness is important and the first step in solving a problem it still is not enough. In order to truly solve the problems that society faces, we need to take action. This means more than simply liking or sharing a post. It means that you are doing something outside of the internet and social media world. The Baobab’s anti-violence campaign is trying to achieve this by calling people to not only send in their pictures to show support but also reminding them that you must actively prevent violence in your life. This may seem like an impossible task; however, it does not have to be. Violence is seen in many ways and sometimes it is as small as a middle school bully picking on a fellow classmate. Therefore, your action to prevent violence does not have to be huge either. You can start small by spreading kindness yourself and stepping in to stick up for the kid you see getting bullied. Over time these small acts will make a big difference and the end result will be less violence in the world, which is a step in the right direction.