Internet users pretend to be real activists
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2012 16:05
It isn’t news that propaganda can play a prominent role in the media, and it certainly isn’t news that people will jump on the bandwagon to say they are for or against something without looking deeper into the subject.
Yet, that should not be any excuse for that sort of behavior to continue, especially by those who are the true embodiments of “slactivism” and think the click of a button can help solve the world’s problems.
Slactivism describes exactly what the word sounds like: it is a compound term made up from the words slacker and activism. Slactivists want to feel good and say they support a cause, but have taken no real action in solving the problem or really trying to make a difference.
On Facebook, there are posts that express dislike for civil injustice. “Like this if you’re against starving children,” or “Like this if you’re against domestic violence.” Yet, it is unlikely these people are actually protesting for human rights or signing real petitions.
One of the most recent trends people have fallen into is the campaign to stop Joseph Kony, the leader of the Ugandan guerrilla group Lord’s Resistance Army, by the end of 2012.
The non-profit organization Invisible Children has used social media to bring to light the problem that has been happening in and around Uganda for years, and many naïve individuals first heard about it in March.
The 30-minute film on YouTube titled “Kony 2012” was released two months ago and went viral. Yet, why should this video of HD panoramic shots and ritzy-looking infographics be the basis to commence action?
This short movie lacks important information and uses outdated footage of young Ugandan children crying (in fear of the terrorist group) that could pull at anyone’s heart strings.
Conditions in the country have improved over the past five or six years.
The first five minutes of the video should be enough indication as to how much propaganda would be pumped out throughout the whole piece. The director Jason Russell exploits his own child by having him point out Kony to get us to see just how bad he is. It is not only one man committing crimes against humanity, but the whole LRA.
People say they care because others on the Internet say you’re supposed to. But Ugandans do not need white Western culture dictating to the rest of the world what is going on and what is wrong in their nation.
Like everything else online, the popularity of the subject has died down almost as quickly as it was uploaded. Slactivists are living their lives the way they did before the video went up, and there has not been much progress in finding and stopping Kony.
It’s sad that many of the people in our society have attention spans short enough to overlook the world’s problems, but what’s more depressing is that they pretend, actually, to be doing something about it.