Slactivism – The act of doing something for a cause that has zero impact for said cause and only serves to make the individual performing the action feel good about themselves.
Examples of slactivism include: politicians wearing a flag pin to show their patriotism, people putting yellow ribbon magnets on their car to show they support our troops, people putting flags on their car to show their patriotism, people putting ANYTHING on their car to show they support ANYTHING, and people changing their Facebook profile picture to a pink equal sign to show they support gay marriage.
I will admit, I was a little bit in awe of the sheer amount of people who changed their Facebook profile picture to the now ubiquitous pink equal sign on a red background and it’s various permutations (my favorite being a kissing Lady Liberty and Lady Justice superimposed on the image). It was inspiring, on some level, to see so many friends and strangers announce that they believe gay marriage should be legal. But back in the real world, gay marriage is still illegal in a vast majority of the country and your changing of your profile picture has changed none of that. In the end, it’s just a big circle-jerk amongst a bunch of like-minded individuals.
It doesn’t have to be like that, though. You can effect real change by spending very little of your time. Call your U.S. Representative, call your U.S. Senators, call your State Representative, call your State Senator. Tell them that you would like gay marriage to be legal. You probably don’t believe it, but politicians listen very carefully to the phone calls that they receive. It is the most effective method for an individual to enact change with their politicians and it is much more efficient than waiting for someone else to get elected. Make it so.