Clicktivism: Is It Making a Difference?
When you're perusing your daily avalanche of political e-mails and you “Click Here to tell the EPA to enforce already-existing clean air laws,” “Click Here to ask your senator to vote Yes/No on ________________” — you're practicing Clicktivism.
I like to think we're all making a tiny difference when we practice Clicktivism, even if each one of us is just a drop of water in the ocean. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it's very important that you do it.”
And this brings me to one of my pet rants: When I'm doing my daily (or even more often) rounds of clicktivism, I click on Send/Submit ONLY when my name/e-mail/street address are already filled in. Sorry, but come on, you sent me an e-mail — you already have my e-mail address. Hello!!?! If you call somebody up and ask what their phone number is, that person is probably gonna hang up on you.
It's already time-consuming enough, wading through dozens of e-mails regarding causes you believe in, and going Click...Click...Click...without typing in your name, e-mail address, street address and phone number over and over and over.
And there seems to be some sort of inverse/perverse ratio involved. If the e-mail is regarding something you're mildly interested in and you're thinking “hmmm, yeah, I guess so,” they already have all your information filled in. On the other hand, there's “Dear Tom: There's only one wolverine left in the entire world, and he's going to be tortured to death if you don't sign this URGENT petition Right NOW” — followed by “Now, type in your first name, last name, e-mail address, street address, zip code, phone number...” AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
But I digress...
Anyway, the linked article says Clicktivism doesn't really help; it just gives people a false sense that they're doing something, contributing something, making a difference. If the person wasn't just sitting at their computer clicking away, he/she might actually go out there and do something. Or maybe this same person wouldn't have been involved at all; wouldn't have been doing any political activity if it weren't for these online petitions.
Is the glass half full or half empty?