It was a warm, sunny Tuesday afternoon. Samantha McGee (E '19) was just about to close her computer after a few hours of studying, but decided to check Facebook before walking home. A few of her friends had decorated their profile pictures advocating for the latest human rights issue. “Wow,” she thought, “This is such a great way to get the word out. I’m going to pick the one with the doves and laurels.”
“We see these problems everyday,” said Alexa Macklin (C '18), “But luckily, slacktivism is now totally just activism. We used to actually have to pour a bucket of ice on their head to raise awareness! Can you imagine?"
“I just don’t have time to go to meetings for charitable groups on campus. So when Facebook gives me a cute way to decorate my already cute AF profile picture from the pumpkin patch last fall, I will,” said Samantha.
She added that she sees her actions as beneficial on all fronts. “Do good and look good, that’s what I say.”
However, friend of Samantha, Cameron Foster (C '19) doesn’t understand this phenomenon. “If I wanted to help communities or promote causes, I will usually search their website and find out ways I can get involved or donate.”
Cameron hasn’t always felt this way. “I won’t lie, there were a few years where I genuinely thought I did the ice bucket challenge for someone other than myself, but after a while, it was pretty clear I only did it for the attention,” he added. Cameron now tries to actively engage in the communities that need his help, adding that “Once I stopped obsessing about getting likes on a status that just says 'SO FUCKING DONE WITH THIS ADMINISTRATION' and started actually volunteering, it was pretty easy to change.”
Later that Tuesday night, Cameron passed Samantha as she reposted her profile picture, this time adorned with doves and hearts. When asked about what she was doing, Samantha added, “Oh, nothing. Just saving the world.”