Slacktivism, The Inability to Get Things Done

Here in the United States our attention span is effectively zero. In general there is a new cause every week and sometimes that cause can last a whole two weeks. Last week’s cause, which is looking to span into this week, is bringing back girls who were kidnapped from Nigeria. This means that a bunch of people, in lieu of doing something, have develop a catchy new Twitter hashtag and are posting pictures of themselves holding up signs with that hashtag on it. Larry Correia concisely explains how effective this will be at solving the problem:

I did a lot of research on human trafficking and modern slavery before Mike Kupari and I wrote Swords of Exodus. It is a horrible, evil, and surprisingly gigantic thing. One thing I’m fairly sure of about the kind of people who do that sort of thing for a living, is that they really don’t give a shit about a bunch of American movie stars taking pouty selfies of themselves holding up signs with hash tag give our girls back. The disapproval of fat, soft, Americans on Facebook really doesn’t move them. They care about getting paid or getting killed, that’s about it. The self-righteous pouting is useless.

The reason slacktivism fails in situations like this is because the perpetrators are truly evil individuals who gives zero fucks about what other people think of them and their actions. Why would anybody think that an individual willing to kidnap and sell young girls would care about other peoples’ opinions?

Problems like this, hell most problems, cannot be solved by pictures of people holding up signs with flavor-of-the-week phrases written on them. The only way problems like this can be solved is through action. In the case of kidnapping the only real options are provide protection for would-be victims and dedicate resources to saving present victims. These are solutions that almost always require the use of force, which is something many slacktivists have a problem with.

Either way this cause, like every cause before it, will fade from the memories of Americans within another week or so. We don’t have the attention span required for prolonged caring. And that, in my opinion, is a true tragedy.