Online political activism has been described as superficial engagement as it essentially lacks the personal ties of a community that once drove social change (Henry Jenkins, 2012). The convergence of technology, particularly social media, has altered the way our generation participates in politics as we no longer rally and protest for something we believe in. Instead we utilise the internet to show our support by liking and sharing online campaigns with the hope of starting an online movement. Realistically, liking a page on Facebook isn’t going to achieve anything. Social movements require organisation, strong social bonds and ultimately sacrifice.
Clicktivism is all about utilising the power of digital media in order to bring social change and promote activism. Just like any other form of social change, online activism faces the challenge of individual mediation. Like me, a vast majority of people doubt the concept of online campaigns as they believe they cannot maintain interest and gain sufficient momentum to actually change anything. Whilst others may view social media as a quick and easy way to show their support, I view clicktivism as a cop-out as it doesn’t show true passion for a cause or movement.
The aftermath of the #Kony2012 campaign left many realising the true power of social media. Gen Y’s desire to fix social problems with little effort and as quickly as possible provided the momentum the campaign needed. After being shared across multiple different social platforms, the 30 minute video acquired more than 100 million views within the first week of being posted. The rise of digital media, particularly social media, has resulted in younger generations moving away from social activism and towards social clicktivism.