“Slacktivism” is the term being increasingly applied to lazy attempts to promote a cause. Recently, the millions of people who changed their Facebook profile photos so they featured a superimposed French flag exemplified this very saddening trend. Somehow the Bataclan and other tragedies in Paris could be soothed over by a few clicks performed by everyone. A perfect storm of a craving to conform, the need for Facebook likes (and reminding people they still exist), and the compulsion to feel like soldiers of peace and goodwill led many to suspend rational judgment and act like not even glorified sheep.
Forgetting that Facebook is a corporate behemoth that incessantly researches and tests its users’ habits to help generate future billions, these millions lapped up the opportunity to use the French flag as readily as they used the LGBT “rainbow” after Obergefell v. Hodges. What did they achieve, other than re-illustrating the rank impotency of Western society? Subsequent French air strikes against ISIS, the perpetrators of the Paris attacks, may have had discernible effects. Meanwhile, the grand global coalition of perhaps a hundred million French flag aficionados did nothing but further cripple Western moxie in the face of a grave existential threat.
The Atlantic, which has every reason to describe the trend as spontaneous and lovey-dovey due to the publication’s leftist agenda, was adamant that the gay marriage picture option constituted a Facebook user research experiment. Is this the same for the French massacres? Whatever the case, Facebook is helping to spread feel-good opportunities to try and change the world… by doing nothing.
Slacktivism actually reduces people’s willingness to properly contribute to a cause
A Canadian study confirmed that people who perform petty acts like superimposing the French flag on a Facebook photo are less likely to devote actual resources to any associated cause. At its heart, it is a catalyst for exacerbating pre-existing laziness, which is rife when you consider the excessively docile responses Europe is giving to the specter of increasing Islamization and unrestricted migration. When “participants” see that other people are changing their Facebook profile photos, too, the effect is only amplified.
Moreover, slacktivism is classic head-in-the-sand behavior. It does not even get within a mile of the surface of a social problem, let alone attempt to scratch it. Millions of people changing their profile pictures gives the illusion that mere clicks constitute genuine solidarity that can help avert the dangers of what are generally native would-be terrorists. It’s the 2015-16 equivalent of pointless but mythologized “flower power” during the 1960s.
How to further dumb down a globalized population
One could argue that individuals have no real power. Cheap mass movements, including ephemeral Facebook profile photo fads, take away any remaining vestiges of that power. Plus, the goal of most corporations, especially those devoted to technology, is to erode free choice as much as possible.
Believing this does not depend on you accepting any organized globalist agenda. It can just as easily be a disorganized one. After all, the less varied the customer base, the more that products can be mass marketed and the desire to conform with the majority can be unleashed. A perversion of the “invisible hand” of capitalism can be the cause you blame, without having to resort to any Alex Jones Infowars-style explanation.
Are you still unconvinced that this has anything to do with sheep changing their Facebook profile photos after the Bataclan horrors? Since advertising was “discovered” in the first decades of the 1900s, company directors and their spin doctors have striven to find the best possible way to convert memorable commercials and other associations into ever bigger profits.
So-called “free” services like Facebook have changed the nature of these attempts at enforcing conditioned behavior, which now often take the form of platforms mining your personal data to sell to other parties or tracking online movements so that large corporations pay top dollar for targeted advertisements.
Lead by example, don’t be one of the sheep
Sometimes, for strategic reasons, you cannot just come out with the fact that you not only read but also support the sorts of content featured on Return of Kings. Even so, you have a wide range of discretion for refusing to participate in cognitively-draining fads and, better yet, repudiating the fads themselves. A number of people I know have publicly mocked the Facebook French flag option. That’s one avenue to take.
Implicit leadership is frequently your best bet, though. It avoids the vexed issue of people not trusting those who talk instead of acting. So cultivate your own brand. You can be still yourself and not stoke the kinds of social conflict apt to erupt in a world increasingly indulgent of SJWs or the whims of infantilized adults. Try and save your very public takedowns and fury for when they are truly needed.
How do you become this kind of leader, you ask? Well, for a start, treat all your reading of ROK as the life-changing education the system never gave you. Reread articles, act on them, and record and compare your progress. Be part of the social solution and that means being the best possible version of you in regular life and behind the scenes.