Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The dangers of slacktivision

Well, mister biscuit is now following me on twitter.  I imagine that he's only doing it out of morbid curiosity but he did send me a link to a this intriguing track he's posted on you tube. It raises some important questions about the Kony2012 phenomenon that are linked to the easy use of social media.

Via twitter and you tube, mister biscuit is raising the question whether slacktivism - taking stands, even sending small amount of cash from the safety of your own smart phone - is really going to change the world.

I think social media are a great way of raising awareness of issues and of putting people in touch with one another so they can find common cause. But Occupy has shown us that it still takes bodies on the ground to effect real change or even provoke real debate about the issues that matter. It still seems to be important that we gather in the same place to hone ideas and draw strength from each other (maybe this has something to say about church too).

Having said that, you'll all be aware of the young woman, Claire Squires, who died at the London Marathon. She had pledged to raise £500 for Samaritans. This morning, as a result of the media coverage of her death and the explosion of sympathy on social media, donations in her name have passed £200,000. This is money that will be well used by the Samaritans supporting the desperate. The raising of it is yet another illustration of the power of social media to do good.

So, thanks mister biscuit for the reminder - and the cool track - I'll follow you with interest

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