Activism has existed for as along as individuals have had the need to fight for equality and justice, which seems to be an extremely long period of time. Throughout the years, activists have banded together on the streets, at rallies, and stood together on issues ranging from gender equality to racism to reproductive health. Recently, however, since the boom of social media, activists have been taking on various platforms as their 'streets'. Taking to social media is not the traditional way for activism to take place, but because social media is such an influential and common part of our daily lives, maybe online activism is not such a bad thing?
Why is that, in general, in life, there is always a right or wrong way of doing something? Whether that be how to cut an apple how to drive on the road, or how to be passionate about something, there are always groups of people saying you're doing it wrong and stating how it should be. Sure, for some actions and tasks it makes sense for everyone to partake in the same way, but for activism? In a globalized society, is it even possible to find two people from different corners of the world who protest the same way? Is it possible to find two people from different cities who are passionate in the same respect?
Online activism is often referred to as 'slacktivism' because individuals, instead of taking to the streets, sit on their couches or cozy up in bed and post a lot about what they are passionate about on social media. Online activism involves people using hashtags and videos, images and quotes to get the message out there for others to share with their online followings. It is interesting that many people object to online activism when, in today's society, a lot of offline activism (ie: taking to the streets, rallying) is planned online. It seems that gone are the days when people secretly met in the back of a pub to plan how they were going to protest in front of the capital, which have been replaced by Facebook events, Twitter hashtags, and Snapchat LiveStories.
Offline activism is definitely seen and heard, by politicians, by teenagers, by foreigners, by news media outlets is becomes the talk of the town for months after its end. One of the main reasons people keep talking about the physical protests that have taken place months after its end is because pictures, videos, gifs, slogans, and experiences are still being posted and shared on social media. Online and offline activism definitely go hand in hand, but that does not necessarily mean that one is better than the other.