Slactivists Activists ~ Can Social Media Drive Real Change?

SlactivismMatthew Fields over at Social Media Chimps shared his insights into slacktivism:

“People who are considered slacktivists make an impact, not because of the amount of effort or time they put in to their causes, but due to the power of social media.”

While some call this “lazy activism” I call it wise marketing.

Those who have studied what works in marketing or how to increase conversions on ecommerce sites or how to get more social media shares for your blog know that you have to make it easy to get people to act.

What works is providing very obvious and simple methods for getting others to take the action you hope they will take. Personally, I see increasing slacktivism as a worthy objective and a way to find out what the masses of lurkers care about.

Anyone who has a forum or blog knows that for every person who comments or posts there are 100+ who don’t. Those who post are the leaders who will give voice to what direction we need to head and encourage others to act.

I’m in favor of encouraging slacktivists because I believe that out of those actions
will grow more true leaders and activists AND all that social media sharing
will increase the number of true leaders and activists who see a given cause.

Most people in America and around the world have no idea what is really going on around them. They only see what is covered by the major media and the owners of that media choose to not cover what we really need to know.

  • Have you ever wondered why there are huge movements to save animals – but we rarely hear about the hungry or homeless all around us?
  • Or why many rush to save horses from slaughter – but not their fellow mankind?
  • What do you know about asset forfeiture or people being jailed because they can’t pay their bills?

Most people I tell about the issues that concern me are amazed.
They have never even heard about them before.
The Internet and social media are changing all that in a very profound way.

We have collectively allowed evil to exist because we rarely hear about genocide while it is occurring or hear anything but the stereotypical “all the homeless are homeless by choice…or because they’re addicts…or because they are alcoholics…” when the REAL truth is that everyday working class people just like you and me make up the majority of the homeless and hungry.

More people with jobs go hungry than people without jobs – but the media portrays the poor as being the cause of their poverty. And now they are being jailed when the only crime they ever committed was being poor.

While true activism – actually FEEDING someone who is hungry or taking someone in who is homeless and helping them get back on their feet IS better, raising awareness and educating others is the first step so I welcome the rise of slactivism.

What do YOU think? Tell us in the comments. 

The Rise of the Slacktivist
Sortable The Rise of the Slacktivist



  1. Dubbing as “slacktivism” the leveraging of social media to have an impact with minimal effort, reminds me of the Rolling Stones putting down the housewife who “buys a frozen steak” and “bakes an instant cake.” As though things that are easier aren’t worth as much. Even people of modest means can be like little drops of rain, when they are given a pathway to making a difference. According to “Why the West Rules — For Now” by Ian Morris, laziness is a basic human trait and an impetus for change throughout history. Let’s put it this way — if each person has N units of compassion/energy/resources to spend on a worthy cause, it makes sense to leverage that investment using technology. Instant cake? Yeah. But it’s cake!

  2. Welcome to Social Implications. So happy you could come by, read and comment. You may want to know that Akismet has you flagged and I had to approve your comment three times to make it visible: once for this site, once to get it out of spam, and again to approve it.

    I totally agree with you! People are how they are so if we want to create a better world we have to understand what works and use it in the same way that corporations have always done.


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