Slacktivism

During a phone conversation with a friend of mine, I was explaining to her my job at the Butler Center for Service and Leadership. I told her I typically help with volunteer coordination for service opportunities both on and off the University of Miami campus. I explained to her that I try to find new and fun ways to get students volunteering in the Miami community.

I mentioned that it’s difficult to get students off-campus, but I’m not really sure why. I explained the South Beach Effect (the many other activities and events happening in Miami), the lack of transportation, students’ busy schedules and many other reasons.

Whatever the reason, University of Miami students are not living up to their fullest volunteering potential.

My friend described to me a new phenomenon among young people today: slactivism.

Slactivism describes people who “support” an issue or social cause but their actions have little or no practical effect on the issue other than to make themselves feel some amount of satisfaction.

These acts tend to require minimal personal effort. Basically, slactivism is the idea that by liking, sharing, tweeting, or pinning something in a virtual space over social media, you are helping out in the real world.

We are all guilty of this new phenomenon, but ask yourself if you are really making a difference by sharing posts via social media. Raising awareness and shedding light on social issues around the world are great things, but if we aren’t actually going out and doing work, then we aren’t doing all we can do.

Raising awareness is only half the battle.

So for all of you, right now, who are sharing photos on Facebook or re-tweeting statistics of children living in poverty,go look up some of the really cool local non-profit organizations that need your help right now!

Branches: www.sflum.org

YES Institutie: www.yesinstitute.org

Tropical Audubon Society: www.tropicalaudubon.org

Zen Village: www.zenvillage.org

Doctor’s Hospital: juliaw@baptisthealth.net

All of these organizations are within walking distance of campus or are metro accessible. The William R. Butler Center for Service and Leadership is always here to help you make connections with this organizations. So stop by our office and come talk to me or anyone of us that work here. We are always looking for ways to get UM students involved in the community!

Post Written By:
Audrey Kidwell
AmeriCorps VISTA
a.kidwell@umiami.edu

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