Tumblr is a great resource to build awareness, find community and promote your projects. However, one thing that troubles us is a new form of “slacktivism” unique to Tumblr, but also present in variations on other social platforms: Someone will post a call for support (access to a resource, assistance with fundraising, information about a topic, etc.) and many people - sometimes hundreds - will re-blog that call … but won’t do anything else. They read the headline and want to support, so they re-blog … but don’t do anything else.
This is problematic.
If you truly want to help an individual, project or movement that you find through Tumblr, you need to do more than re-blog.
Read the call for support, not just the headline. See how you can tangibly help out. It will take more than two seconds to do this - it might take five minutes, or an hour (between your other tasks). That’s OK. Being part of a community and supporting something means contributing in ways that make sense for you.
Re-blogging - on its own - does not provide solutions. If everyone just re-blogged calls for support, nothing would change. Many grass root movements such as ours work on a shoestring budget and utilize as many free ways as possible to build community, as well as to access resources.
Don’t just re-blog. Pause. Consider options. Connect the dots. See if there is anyone in your network who can help if you don’t think you can. Make suggestions. Do email intros. Reach out. This is all within your power.
Don’t just re-blog. Don’t just “love.” These are nice gestures but to make real change, we need more than gestures. Re-think how you view your own personal power and then put that power to work to support communities and endeavors your care about.
You can be a “real” activist online. People who say that the only activism that counts is IRL are sorely mistaken. But in order to be a real change agent and to transform your world and the lives of others, you have to do more than re-blog.
Thanks for listening.
- POC Zine Project
P.S. It probably goes without saying, but it’s TOTALLY OK to re-blog this post. :) Free will and all that, plus we appreciate your help getting the word out about solutions beyond the re-blog. <3
Let us know how you help make a difference through online activism, and how that intersects with your efforts IRL!