Editorial by The Free Press staff. File Photo

Editorial: slacktivism or activism

The Free Press reporter weighs in on social media movements

Following the #BlackOutTuesday trend where Instagram users posted photos of black squares to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, this past week brought with it yet another social media trend with a seemingly altruistic backbone: the #ChallengeAccepted posts. These hashtags were accompanied by black and white photos of women, along with another hashtag #WomenSupportingWomen.

Millions of women around the world got on board with the movement, taking delicate black and white selfies and stamping their accounts with a seal that says ‘I too, support women’. But how many of those women took it farther than that? How many of those women looked into the origins of the movement? How many of these women, rather than promoting photos of themselves, promoted an organization that fights for women’s rights, a women’s shelter, or a women’s resource center?

While I don’t discount the honourable intention behind the #ChallengeAccepted posts, I do think it’s worth pointing to the growing demonstrations of slactivism on social media.

Slacktivism is defined as the support of a cause through social media or online petitions, in a way that involves little effort and commitment. These demonstrations are often widely consumed and participated in, giving off an air of activism despite their ease and lack of action. They leave participants feeling as though they are tangibly contributing to social justice movements, when in reality their posts are quick to be lost in a swirl of vacation photos and dog videos.

The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.

Those words have been etched into my mind latey, making me deeply consider what it actually takes to create change. Despite the well-meaning nature of the black and while selfies and blacked out squares, I think that real change lies in something far greater than an Instagram post, a Facebook comment, or an outraged opinion.

Change lies in action. Reformation is the product of doing, not of believing.

This isn’t to say that raising awareness or standing in solidarity doesn’t have it’s benefits, but rather this is to say that the battles can’t stop there.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Conservation Officers seek public assistance

A mule deer buck was poached within Elkford town limits

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Annual Elk Valley Pride Festival paints the town rainbow

Festivities began with a spirited Pride Bike Parade and flag raising ceremony

City of Fernie installs new railway safety decals

Part of Rail Safety Week, the initiative promotes railway safety at one of Fernie’s busy crossings

MP Morrison faults federal Throne Speech as new Parliament session begins

Kootenay-Columbia representative criticizes a lack of focus on jobs, support for resource sector

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read