My Ted Talk Pitch:
In early 2012, Invisible Children released a video in an attempt to raise awareness of war criminal Joseph Kony and his actions in Uganda. This video had two effects. It raised the awareness of Joseph Kony, but also showcased the growing problem of slacktivism. Slacktivism is the act of supporting a cause via the Internet while expending very little time or energy. This seems great because it allows people to support a cause while still performing all of their daily activities, compared to traditional activism, which requires the activist to put in many hours of work to help make a change. However, there are many critics of slacktivism. Many critics believe slacktivism makes complex issues far too simple, giving slacktivists unrealistic expectations of different causes. They also question the validity of many of the organizations encouraging slacktivism and if it is truly an effective means of making change. My Ted talk will analyze slacktivism and what it means for the future of activism.
I decided to do my paradigm shift on the shift from activism to slacktivism and how the internet has helped accelerate it.
I’m not sure exactly how I am going to format this yet, but this is the idea I have now.
Paradigm Shift Essay Outline:
-My introduction is going to focus on what exactly activism is. I would like to talk about many past examples of activism before the Internet, such as the Civil Rights movement or the anti Vietnam movement. This will flow into what effect these types of movements had on actually making change, such as the policy changes made as a result of the movement. I would like to conclude this paragraph with introducing what slacktivism is and how the rise of the internet has accelerated the spread of slacktivism.
-The next part of the essay will focus on slacktivism and what exactly slacktivism is. This will focus on all of the details about slacktivism and give some examples of slacktivism, such as the Kony 2012 movement. In this section I will highlight the effect the internet has had on accelerating slacktivism and if slacktivism really can enact change.
-The next part of my essay was going to focus on the critique of slacktivism and why true activism was better means of accomplishing things before the internet. This would focus on the credibility of the organizations perpetuating slacktivism and the ramifications of over simplifying serious issues, such as the issue of Joseph Kony.
-My conclusion will acknowledge the fact that yes, slacktivism does has its faults, but in the long run, it is what activism has become and it can be very successful.
To support my paper, I have a few sources in mind. I do not know if I can use them, but they all talk about slacktivism and its rise.
My first source is a book titled Social Change Any Time Every Where by Allyson Kapin and Amy Sample Ward. In this book they highlight the pros and cons of slacktivism and then provide an analysis of it.
My second source is a study conducted by Georgetown University which analyzed the effects of slacktivism and how slacktivism is actually a force for good.
My third source comes from Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom
by Evgeny Morozov, which critiques slacktivism.
I also have some news articles I plan to cite, but I’m not sure which ones I want to use yet, so I will link them when I decide.