Link Pack: Slacktivism & Armchair Advocacy

We get inundated with requests for likes and retweets, and now to dump ice water on our heads, all for truly worthy causes, but do our clicks matter? Are we really making an impact, or are we taking the easy way out - avoiding the hard work of real, on the ground advocacy? What do you make of this kind of engagement? Here are some opinions to consider:

Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted by Malcolm Gladwell

A response to Gladwell’s article: Weak Ties, Twitter and Revolution by Jonathan Lehrer

Seth Godin on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Washington Post: Does Slacktivism Work?

“Slacktivists don’t have to spend a Saturday doing hard labor to build a home or sacrifice a portion of their monthly entertainment budget to a cause. They don’t even have to move from behind the screens of their electronic devices.”

Study: Observability of an Initial Act of Token Support Affects Subsequent Prosocial Action

HuffPo: From Slacktivism to Activism by Bob McKinnon

“So in this new age, when it is indeed easier to push a button than lift a hand. Easier to build a website than build a movement. More convenient to share a link on Facebook than share a story face-to-face. Quicker to churn out a short blog than research a long book. And more likely that one will surf the net versus go on a march. How do we truly engage people in a cause?”

“There are better bridges waiting to be built between established activists and their organizations and newer technologies and their designers. And between curious slactivists dipping their toes in the water of social change and organizations who have reservoirs of good information and needed actors. To date the results have been mixed on both fronts. But the future is promising.”

“It begins by recognizing that these are not mutually exclusive ways to create impact, but just tools along a continuum that can be used in concert to the same desired end. Every movement begins with being moved. Whether we are moved first to lace up our shoes or click our mouse shouldn't be the focus of debate. It should be what happens next as a result.”

Sociological Study: The Structure of Online Activism

“Facebook conjured an illusion of activism rather than facilitating the real thing.”