Am I a slacktivist? Is that even a word?


Ok- in fairness, I will sometimes share- so long as the issue isn’t too controversial, and I would never have a big gulp- likely a pumpkin spice latte, and I don’t have a mustache and if I did I would wax it, and I don’t wear v-necks, it would likely be a turtleneck, especially in fall, and I don’t have a desktop, it would be a laptop…

but the biggest difference between me and this image: I have never really even thought about using social media for social activism.  In fact, I use it to connect with friends, family, find lesson plan ideas, or recipes, completely ignoring the power it has to make a difference in my community, let alone the country and world. I use social media as a space where I try to forget about the world around me- I haven’t wanted to engage in any form of activism, only pure enjoyment.

I’m not going to lie after reading a few articles and other classmates blogs that I will say in a small, embarrassed, inside my head voice that I actually am sometimes annoyed by my step-daughters continual posts about veganism, and my friends continual posts about animal rights.  I often don’t even pay attention to them anymore- scroll quickly through to someone’s baby pictures.


Katia’s question about our responsibility as educators to model active citizenship online is a big one.  Like Chris, I tend to not rock the boat a lot when it comes to social media activism, but I also agree with him that it is our job as educators to make people better.  And I recognize I have done none of this.  That’s actually a pretty strange thing for me to admit and think about, as I tend to be pretty in your face when it comes to social injustice and inequality.  I don’t only teach it to my students, but I will go toe to toe with any parent or community member who challenges decisions at school that bring to light those issues.  I am the one complaining that our SLC is only worried about pep rallies and spirit weeks, and not championing our Orange Shirt Day, or getting involved in food or clothing drive.

What I say I believe in:                                                                                                              

 What my online presence shows I believe in:

This links well for me to our previous post about creating a social media identity- things like branding our schools, and ourselves.  What do we present to the world through our online profile.  This feels like the next layer to that.  If in my Twitter profile I indicate that I am interested in anti-oppressive education, or Treaty Education- my online presence needs to show that is the truth- put your money where your mouth is kind of thing. At this point, my profile indicates that I am an educator passionate about many things, but my presence shows that I enjoy crafts and baking.

I have struggled with this all week, and will continue to struggle with it for a while yet I’m thinking.  That’s likely not a bad thing.  I am honestly not 100% sure, but I think that I’ve never considered the impact that social media may have on activism, thinking that many people are like me, and just scroll through things- and don’t pay much attention to the hundreds or thousands of posts.

Obviously, I recognize the exposure that some campaigns receive, but I guess I’ve always felt that exposure is only half the battle- although important.  I found an interesting, short post that highlights the need to move from awareness to action.

  1. keep the action simple
  2. connect to real life campaigns
  3. understand  limitations

In retrospect, I’ve been a little lazy.  Rather than like or share a post, if it strikes a cord with me, I need to do a little research about how I can actually help, be ACTIVE.  Share and comment about a local agency that is doing work to support the issue that I am interested in.

Clearly- I have a little grappling with my online identity and use, and moving into the modern world where activism is as much what I post as what I do or say in person.




3 thoughts on “Am I a slacktivist? Is that even a word?

  1. I agree when you speak about using social media to escape and really to keep in touch with family and friends. Can it only be that simple? I try to ignore but find myself getting sucked into the opinions and comments of others…. mostly when they are obviously WRONG! hahaha. Thanks for the share.


  2. I love your analysis of what your profile says about you and what your posts say about you, I would think that this is a very common occurrence to have two conflicting personas online. Your post has made me decide I need to evaluate whether my profile and posts correlate or if there is a conflict in my own sharing. Thanks for the great insight!


  3. I think you are being a bit hard on yourself. I like how you describe your level of involvement in sharing or speaking up about online social justice issues versus in-person/in-your-face dealings with parents, etc. on similar topics. Certainly, you could probably take on more of a position online, but I think you are also walking the talk in real life, which many online protesters/slacktivists don’t do.

    Thanks for sharing!


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