I read an article on Mashable.com and it talked about the term “slacktivism” which can be defined by the Urban Dictionary as “the act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem.” They are speaking in reference the fact that according to the article:
“the national chapter of the Red Cross, for instance, has 208,500 “likes” on Facebook, more than 200,000 followers on Twitter, and a thriving blog. But according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, online donations accounted for just 3.6% of private donations made to the organization in 2009″.
I agree with the author of the blog in that social media sites are fairly new and the larger sites in terms of members like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter were only created within the last eight years. Recently should sites as YouTube has been an aid to activists who want to raise awareness for a cause, such as the case with Shawn Ahmed and his successful efforts to raise money for a school in Bangladesh that was devastated by a cyclone. Before his video he could not raise the funds necessary to do more than replace the roof. After over 140,000 YouTube views he raised enough to rebuild the school and get supplies.
I see social media as a tool to get information and awareness for activism and positive social change. This social media explosion could lead to something really big.