Let’s skim through Oxford Dictionary and find slacktivism: the practice of supporting a political or social cause by means such as social media or online petitions, characterized as involving very little effort or commitment. In other words, it’s summer 2019. Call me a pessimist, but turning your profile picture blue or orange or green is not changing anyone’s realm of safety. Showing support for each of these causes is very powerful for keeping a strong stance. However, in order to truly make a change, we need to do more than that. Spreading awareness of issues in Sudan, gun control (or lack thereof) and the climate crisis is step one of a much longer list.
After sharing your opinions on these problems and both signing and sharing petitions to get legislation passed, call or write a letter to your representative/senator. Even if you have three thousand followers on instagram, I can say with almost absolute certainty that your senator does not follow you. Thus, no political figures will be able to see your thoughts unless you take it to them. In order to demonstrate you care about an issue, take these steps and vocalize your opinions to the people who can make a change legislatively.
Next, volunteer your time with parties and organizations that support your opinion and cause. Organize rallies, partake in marches and/or attend other political events. Showing a large presence to media and political figures is a stronger way to show the world there needs to be action. This could mean being part of a grassroots movement or a larger campaign. Just be careful that the funds you raise and crowdfunding campaigns you promote are real charitable donors. CNN reports that fake accounts went under the tagline “Sudan Meal Project” and either falsely promoted monetary gain in favor of Sudan or used posts from their account to gain a following and switch to a different route of profit such as memes or streetwear.
Beyond this, spend time helping a political candidate who has the same values and opinions as you. If you want to go to extremes, you can even grow a political career and run for office. Just try to write or speak your opinions with proper factual backing in order to persuade others to help with your cause.
With many steps and opportunities to become politically active, simply changing your profile picture is not only ineffective, but also lazy. This isn’t to say changing your profile picture to serve as homage to certain victims is worthless, in fact, it’s a hopeful start. However, a start with no follow-up is as good as nothing.