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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (But It May Be Tweeted)

slacktivism1By Adrienne Sheares
Don’t feel like burning your bra and can’t make it to the rally down the street – but still want to have an an impact in your community? If you’re active online, you have the power to ignite change.  At Young Invincibles, we work on a range of issues that impact young adults, from health care to financial aid.  Unfortunately, we know there are too many important issues that don’t get the attention they deserve.  Social media is one powerful way you can change that.

Thanks to social media, people can have their voices heard while sitting with their laptops or mobile phone on the subway to work, hanging out with friends – or in their living rooms, wearing pajamas and fuzzy slippers.

The dawn of social media has revolutionized how we connect with each other.  Unsurprisingly, social media has also changed the face of activism.  Social media activism, also known to some skeptics as ”slacktivism, ” has grown in popularity thanks to social platforms such as and the rise of Twitter and Facebook.

But don’t let the word slacktivism fool you. Individuals who frequently engage in social media are more likely than their peers to take action for the beliefs, both on and offline.

Cause driven organizations should take note:

  • Social media users are 24% more likely to join a group or volunteer organization around a cause than non social media users (this number goes up to 27% if you include Twitter users)
  • Twenty-five percent of social media users will attend a walk or event versus a mere 11% of non social media users
  • Social media users are also 4x as likely to encourage other to sign a petition or contact a politician by phone or email

So what’s the impact?  Here’s one cool example from a 4th grade class.

  • Through a petition with over 50,000 signatures on, a dynamic 4th grade class made Universal Studios execs change the story line for the movie, The Lorax, from a simple children’s movie to an environmental flick to advocate for the trees.

The result? Advertising for the movie took a distinct green approach, helping increase awareness of environmentalism to millions.

What’s the bottom line?  You need to go to where the people, decision makers, and communities spend their time – which currently includes social media.  If you want to start a campaign, figure out your call to action and spread the word through fun Facebook memes, online petitions, or tweets with a hashtag.  The opportunities are endless.  So whether you want to people to rally on the streets or click a petition, remember, both acts can make things happen.