Eric Hoffer who quoted this sentence might be a while in the past, but the meaning however, is very much relevant to the present. Older generations such as ‘the baby boomers’ have the impression that all the youth do is eat, sleep, Facebook, maybe venture out of the house, eat, Facebook, sleep and repeat. There is essentially moral panic about the youth of today. In my opinion this generation is very much correct. We have the perfect opportunity in this digital/social media age to start forms of Clicktivism and Global Activisim. Clicktivism is the pollution of activism with the logic of consumerism, marketing and computer science. Global Activism in my opinion blends together a global change (eg. gay marriage), a target societal group on a global scale (eg. Young people) and the digital world all together. But why do we have the perfect opportunity? Henry Jenkins says it perfectly “the digital age has opened a new era of activism that offers the next generation new avenues into broader political participation.”
Having this said, the new digital era has also brought about a culture of Slacktivism. This is just a pejorative term that describes “feel good” measures in support of an issue, that has no practical effect on the actual issue. I can admit, even I have been a perportrator of slacktivism! Just scrolling down my Facebook page I have seen a post titled “Repost this to feed this child’s family”. Feeling like a hero I repost the Facebook post, but how do I even know its a legitmate charity? I don’t. All I did was make myself feel good for that 5 seconds of my life by reposting phony Facebook spam. That is Slacktivism. Yes I can hang my head in shame now.
“Other peoples interest in politics may be sparked by references by popular culture that helps them connect to issues that they already care about” (Jenkins, 2012) This quote by Jenkins describes Culture Jamming. This new breed of activisms plays to Gen-Y’s interests (which is normally cats doing silly things), but in this form of activism’s case:
It is a use of a Meme that attracts the interest of users. Meme’s are normally littered all over Facebook, Tumblr and most social media sites which will guarantee exposure to a young audience. The creator has bascially called Gillard a ‘Hipster’ for her new glasses while calling for the 2013 election. The #HipsterGillard uses the popular culture of Twitter to get people interested whilst still creating political discussion.
So there are obviously many ways us youthfuls can become involed in political and social activism, but we must make it meaningful! WE are the future and WE must not let our natural talent of being youthful go to waste, dont be childish and take a stand to what you believe in.