Does It Help The Cause?

The Millennial Slacktivism Debate: A Political Perspective

There are many different ways to help a cause.  Is liking or sharing one of them?  Does simply liking or sharing an article, event, or tweet with a certain hashtag help a foundation, cause, or epidemic?

There are people that would disagree and state that by only liking and sharing you are actually doing nothing to help the organizing.   In the article Take the “No Ice Bucket” Challenge, Will Oremus talks about how displeased he was with the ice bucket challenge for ALS.  For example, “As for “raising awareness,” few of the videos I’ve seen contain any substantive information about the disease… the ice bucket videos feel like an exercise in raising awareness of one’s own zaniness, altruism, and/or attractiveness in a wet T-shirt”.  He thinks that most people were really just posting videos to look good for their friends.  To make people think that they are contributing to the cause.  In reality the majority of video posters did not pay anything towards the cause.  Now even though the majority of the people didn’t contribute money, does that necessary mean they didn’t contribute at all?  People think that they are doing something positive by using very little effort as stated in Does Slacktivism Work?, “These activities pose a minimal cost to participants; one click on Facebook or retweet on Twitter and the slacktivist can feel that he or she has helped to support the cause.”   I believe that these videos did raise awareness, maybe not to everyone that posted them, but surely to more people than if the videos didn’t exist.  In that same article, “ALS Association told Fox Boston that it has raised $1.35 million in the past two weeks. It raised just $22,000 in the same period last year.”  This is a enormous increase in funds and certainly would not have been possible without the videos.

Also in the chapter about Avatars, Jenkins he talks about “slactivism”, “that the small investments in time and effort required to pass along such messages”.  These people are given a bad rep by the name “slactivism”, it is imposing that these people don’t really do much.  Yet I think they should receive more credit.  By doing something so simple as liking or sharing, they can spread the the word faster than ever.

What is your take on this? Do you think by posting a simple share or liking a post will help raise awareness?


2 thoughts on “Does It Help The Cause?

  1. I think it did make a difference. They raised a butt load of money through it and it spread a lot of awareness about ALS. There’s no way that could have happened if people were just posting words that said put money here. the IBC made it fun and exciting by doing something oddball.


  2. I agree that sharing or liking does not count as doing nothing. If nobody did this, then the original word would of never spread and therefore nothing would of happened. I believe that these people are the original help in getting a trend or challenge started and therefore should get recognition.

    I would like to bring forth the question if there is a time when liking or sharing is doing nothing? Would this be after many weeks or months of something being viral and someone liking it, would this timing make the like worthless?


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