The word is usually considered a pejorative term that describes "feel-good" measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction. The acts tend to require minimal personal effort from the slacktivist. The underlying assumption being promoted by the term is that these low cost efforts substitute for more substantive actions rather than supplementing them.
￼I call it “Facebook Guilt” (and have already submitted it to UrbanDictionary – that’s how strongly I feel about this topic) and when it comes to Facebook Guilt – all of a sudden, EVERYBODY is a Jewish Mother!
We’ve all seen ‘Facebook Guilt’ in one form or another. Some loosely quoted examples might be:
- ‘I’m putting this status up for one hour today to stand up for _______________ rights. If you feel the same way YOU MUST POST IT TOO – IF YOU DON’T I’LL KNOW YOU DON’T CARE!’
- ‘I care about America’s soldiers – IF YOU CARE TOO YOU MUST REPOST THIS.’
- ‘I just gave $__________ to __________ because I love __________ – if you love __________ you’ll do the same RIGHT NOW!! If you DON’T you’re a cold, mean, heartless wanker!!’
Don’t try to get me to feel guilty about not
re-posting your “cause of the day” when you damn well know it won’t help anyone. I don’t need to
re-post your post to “prove” that I (pick one): support the military, love my family, hate taxes, want a cure for cancer/AIDS/stupidity, and your attempt to make people feel guilty about it just makes me want to be LESS supportive of those causes.
Facebook is supposed to be for social networking, not chain mail circa 1998. Saying “97% of people won't repost this because they're ashamed of Jesus” is really annoying. Faith shouldn't be measured in posts on Facebook and I’m pretty sure (although not entirely positive) that ‘Jesus’ isn’t paying any attention to status updates on your social networking wall. Just a guess. WTF does posting the color of your bra or the contents of your purse have to do with
Breast Cancer Awareness?? Wouldn’t a simple “GET A FUCKING MAMMOGRAM ALREADY” be far more effective as a status update??
Seriously, if you want to support a cause, go donate money and/or time or spread awareness to people who are going to actually do something besides repost two feeble sentences about it just so they won’t feel guilty. Posting a Facebook status about it won’t do anything but annoy everyone whose live feed it shows up on, seeing as it is an inefficient way to actually fight cancer, prevent AIDS or end social networking stupidity.
Even Facebook is guilty of Facebook guilt. See what happens when you select “Deactivate my account”. To say that leaving Facebook means your friends “will no longer be able to keep in touch with you” is just wrong. Facebook often says little things like this that read like it thinks it has a monopoly on human connections:
How about this as a re-post:
FYI: Tomorrow Facebook will change its privacy settings to allow Mark Zuckerberg to come into your house while you sleep and eat your brains with a tiny little spoon. To stop this from happening go to:
Account > Home Invasion Settings > Cannibalism > Brains, and uncheck the ‘Delicious’ box. Save a friend - copy and repost.
Copy and paste this into your status if you are sick of people telling you to copy and paste things into your status.