If you are invested in a cause and use social media to promote it, you have probably heard the word “Slacktivism” over the last couple of years. In case you have not, Slacktivism is the term some people have used to explain online efforts like the use of Twibbons or adding an avatar ribbon to your Facebook picture. Even “Movember” has been at times categorized as Slacktivism. A lot of people get caught up in growing a mustache and forget to mention what they are actually trying to draw attention to.
There is another side to this online coin, however, as is so often the case. Some people feel that if you have a personal Facebook account, you should dedicate a portion of your posts to supporting causes. Truth be told, I am one of those people. When I first started communicating via social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, I promised (to whomever may have been listening at the time) that any “power” I would get via followers online would be used to try to make the world better. The ability to communicate with people for free and from the convenience of your home (or office) is a tremendous luxury, and unfortunately many people who could most benefit from that capacity cannot realize it. I have always felt it was important to try to shine a light on causes that needed attention or to try to rally the troops to help a group or an individual. Indeed, some people will even go so far as to say that if you are not using your personal account to voice your opinion on key issues, you are not worthy of a connection.
While some people may view it as essential to promote causes and draw attention to issues via personal social media accounts, there is a potential downside to this as well. Social Media is based to such a great extent on feedback that it can be easy to feel like you are making a real difference in the world simply by posting about these issues. I have fallen into that trap, certainly. If you post about an issue that doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of attention, and then your post starts to get a lot of comments and dialogue, you can quite easily feel like you successfully enticed people to think about that important issue.
It’s easy to think, “Maybe my words will inspire someone to try to fix this problem, or maybe lots of other people will draw attention to this issue because I got the ball rolling.” Once you start thinking that way, the next step is to say, “Well, I really don’t need to do anything else in regards to this issue. I have done enough.” The reality, of course, in the grand scheme of things, is that you really have not done anything.
If you run a cause or work for one, it makes sense that you would share your own work on your personal page. But would you draw attention to other causes and issues, or do you feel a personal Facebook should be just that—a page dedicated to you, your family, and your friends? What do you feel the pros and cons are of using your personal Facebook page to draw attention to important issues?
We’d love to hear from you!