25/03

Slacktivism

By Geisha Bar

Something I noticed recently is the surge of women posting selfies sans makeup to Facebook, to “raise awareness” for breast cancer. Firstly I need to make it very clear that of course I’m not anti the idea of supporting causes over social media, and if the campaign has directly resulted in more money raised for the cause in question then it’s definitely a positive thing. www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/donate or for Australian Cancer Counsil http://www.cancer.org.au/get-involved/donate.html

However, I always have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to Facebook and a little thing I call slacktivism. If you haven’t heard of slacktivism, the best example that I can give is the whole Kony 2012 debacle. Basically people get on a bandwagon and share the shit out of something (often something they haven’t even Googled themselves before sharing, but that’s another rant altogether) and then claim that it is to “raise awareness”. Then they sit back and crack their knuckles smugly, because they “are doing good in the world”.

With this breast cancer awareness “no makeup selfie” craze, many women are just uploading a picture of themselves without makeup (although many of them are actually wearing makeup or using a filter) and adding the hasthag #nomakeupselfie, without linking any breast cancer donation sites, or y’know, doing anything of any value at all. It’s armchair support, or slacktivism, at it’s best. People act like they are philanthropic as fuck just because they copy and pasted some hearts into a status, when really they have contributed nothing.

Some people have instead uploaded a picture showing how to check your breasts for lumps, along with donation links which I find far more useful than just a picture of someone’s face “for awareness”. There are also people who have donated and posted their no makeup selfies saying that they donated, but it irks me a little when people feel the need to tell everyone on Facebook about what a great person they are because they donated. Why not just quietly donate, and then post a link to a donation site without a selfie, leaving your ego at the door?

People hate being called out on this sort of thing, and immediately take the defensive stance – accusing people like me of being uncaring or rude for questioning the way people blast their “I’ve done my bit for the world aren’t I an amazing person” shit all over Facebook.

Please guys – if you are going to “raise awareness” on Facebook then try to actually educate people on something important, rather than just uploading yet another boring selfie.