Online Activism

This week in class we talked about online activism and whether or not it actually makes any difference in the world. Before writing this post I read a great blog post by Paige who in turn references a blog post by Taylor. I like the way that both of these post challenge online activism and refer to it as “Armchair Activism” which I thought was avery adequate term. Paige discusses a few things such as the ALS ice bucket challenge which was used to create awareness and raise money for the prevention of ALS. One counter argument I have for online activism is that it can work to a degree. I honestly had no idea what ALS was until this viral campaign had started. For the founders of the ice bucket challenge they would have to consider it rather successful they ultimately raised 100 million dollars. The problem is that eventually the meme outgrew the activism. People started doing Ice Bucket challenges for the sake of posting something online or “doing it for the likes” as my friends like to say. My biggest issue with online activism is that people seem to not care until something becomes viral. I don’t understand why we cannot become passionate about something until after it has become the cool thing to do. I don’t know a single person that was trying to raise money or awareness for ALS before the ice bucket challenge and I don’t know anyone advocating for it now that the challenge is over. At the end of the day I would say that online activism is better than no activism but it certainly isn’t the best kind of activism. als-ice-bucket

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