Long live slacktivism

Long live slacktivism

I wrote before that we cannot educate most of our youth as well as we should. It creates all sorts of problems. We do not have enough engineers and software project managers, but we have plenty of people who are good at low-level jobs. With this kind of a human resources mixture, Turkey cannot go forward as to reach its 2023 goals.

However on the youngsters’ front, not all is dark.

We have witnessed in Gezi that the youth are taking life and politics more seriously than the previous generation. They are literally risking their lives for people whom they don’t know and they stand up for the future generations. Technology had a great part in this. There is a term called Facebook slacktivism. First let’s see what slacktivism is:

“Slacktivism [sometimes slactivism or slackervism] is a portmanteau of the words slacker and activism. The word is usually considered a pejorative term that describes ‘feel-good’ measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect, other than to make the person doing it take satisfaction from the feeling that they have contributed. The acts tend to require minimal personal effort from the ‘slacktivist.’ The underlying assumption being promoted by the term is these low cost efforts substitute for more substantive actions, rather than supplementing them.”

Facebook slacktivism means people “like” social causes even though they don’t act on it. For example, there is a protest outside and you would never go, but “like” every photo about it that other people post on Facebook.

This term is usually used to undermine lazy people, but after I saw its transformative effects, it is my favorite term. I have witnessed many slacktivists turn into hardcore rebels after “liking” hundreds of photos depicting police violence or other unjust activities.

Turkish youngsters are becoming doers and slacktivisim has had a good part in this transformation.
There are many other websites and social media outlets that are taking this a step further, like Fongogo, which gets you to act on your beliefs by supporting projects. I will write about those next week. All in all, it is very good to see the Internet is a positive influence on the Turkish youth.