Dear Brooke – Mission IV

Dear Brooke,

Hello, thanks for making me. I’ve had a lot of fun in Arganee. As we come to our last mission, I want to share with you what I’ve learned in this new place. Having experienced this digital world, I have realized that a lot of what we type doesn’t really matter. I’ve learned a new term called slacktivism. What does it mean, you ask? You’re an education major, Brooke. Figure it out.

Slacking in your activism. I’ve seen on your Facebook, Brooke, that a lot of your “friends” have pretty big ideas but don’t do much as far as carrying them out. I’m supposed to write a letter to you telling you how to use digital alchemy but you’re already doing it. Your Facebook page is different from your friends. I commend you, Brooke, for the way you have stayed true to yourself. You know that nothing you post can change the world so you change what you can.

Digital activism and alchemy can absolutely make a difference. It is the building blocks of change. Look at it this way- if a friend of yours goes to a political rally and supports letting Syrian refugees into the United States, that’s great. But where did they come from? They’ve never expressed an interest in this topic before. Nothing on social media. However, if they used digital activism in the beginning, their opinion would be more relevant. They could use their social media platform to build a reputation for themselves, like you do.

A friend of yours posted something about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You’ve posted about it on your page as well. But the difference between you and your friend and that you don’t just post. You act. You care about Israel and you are a proud Zionist. You’ve visited the country and supported local business and tourism. You’ve donated sums of money to the IDF over the years. Don’t forget about the peaceful protest you hosted a few years ago to bring Israelis and Palestinians together. This is activism. This makes a difference.

Friends of yours also post about LGBTQ rights but what do they do about it? The people who post about allowing same sex marriage are the same people who use the other “F” word as a casual slur when it’s not. It’s an offensive term that should never leave someone’s mouth. You’re different. You post about LGBTQ rights but that’s not all. You’ve posed for NOH8 and all of that money went to the cause. You’re also a member of the HRC and have an equal rights flag hanging outside of your help. And of course, your entire family is running in the New York Gay Pride Marathon this summer.

There are two other causes that you’re passionate about on social media and in real life, special education and pediatric Cancer. You’ve read to kids with special needs, volunteered in schools, and you’re a member of KDP, so you help students on a daily basis. You donate money and volunteer for Larger than Life, an organization for pediatric Cancer that helps families that can’t afford treatment. Sharing a picture that says 1 like = 1 prayer is nice and all but get up and do something. It really works when you try. 

Just because you’re passionate about something, doesn’t mean you can always help. You don’t think I’d like to give money to everyone who needs it? I’d love to. But it’s not the way the world works. My advice, get out there and do what you can. Social media activism is only slacktivism if there’s nothing to back it up. It’s really nice to share a post on Facebook about ending world hunger. But it’s even nicer to donate to charity. It doesn’t need to be money, it can be time.

When you’re about to share something, ask yourself, would I share a post about this cause if it cost 5 dollars to hit share every time.

Be an activist, not a slacktivist.

-DM

 

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