Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Digital Paper Activism or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Click Like.

As I sit down to write I have two thoughts on my mind. The first of these is simple, and the other more complex. Yet both are connected, specifically in the fact that they both deal with an online presence. I maintain this site mostly to help me further with my career. It serves as a place where I can promote my work and my interests, while still hopefully saying something interesting. To that end, my first thought is that I need to blog more, something I am trying to change as we speak.

My second thought is a bit more complex, and deals with the ALS Foundation's Ice Bucket Challenge. For those of you who might not have heard of this, it is an online challenge where you dump a bucket of ice water over your head, all the while videoing it and posting it online. This has gone completely viral, and it is for a good cause.

That being said, I find myself wondering what good that online presence actually does. It is great that awareness is being raised, but that awareness doesn't translate into more money into the charity's coffers, or to actually accomplishing any of the group's stated goals. This digital activism has a time and a place, but I can't help feel it comes as a detriment to actual boots on the ground. The easy thing to do is to push a button. The problem then becomes the people who believe that pushing that button will change anything with out any further action. The videos are the first step. It's time to move forward to the work at hand. (If you feel like helping out the ALS Foundation, their website is here: http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/.)

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