You “Liked” that? So What!
Social Media is a great platform for articulating your views. But think about this.
How often do you click the “like” button for things that resonate with you. How often do we show our support or agreement by clicking a thumbs up, or when we really like something, we share it.
Has it ever been easier to support a cause, or show some solidarity with a person or project than now?
And yet, do we really show our support, or do we click “share” and “like” for some organic product for instance, the feel good factor, and then wander down to McDonald’s for lunch?
What Social Media does is allow our support to be a Clayton’s style of support. A style of support that involves no sacrifice or commitment on our part, and can most certainly not be construed as in some way manning the barricades. It is basically feel good cheating.
Of course raising awareness about a particular issue or cause can certainly help get the ball rolling, but even millions of “likes” are still unlikely to achieve much at all unless we personally take some form of action.
So how do we take action to support a cause in a western style democracy?
We could no doubt join protests or marches, write letters, and make submissions. To a degree, these have all been effective in the past, especially when dealing with government and local government agencies. However it would be fair to say that these forms of protest are less effective where the practices of, or organisation we are protesting against is a large corporate, especially a multi-national corporate.
It is not all about protest though. What if an article I read showed the positive benefits for us all in spending time in nature? How do I really support that?
Or what about the benefits to local small farmers and our own communities from buying direct or through a farmers market.
One of the Most Overlooked Forms of Action
One of the easiest and most effective forms of action we as individuals have lies in our pockets. That is of course the power of what comes out of our wallets or purses.
Every time we consider how we spend our hard earned money we get the opportunity to vote.
If I believe that organic, especially locally produced organic food is important, then I get to vote for it by purchasing that product. This may very well be at the expense of some multi national that is shipping food to my local (but foreign owned) supermarket from thousands of kilometres away.
If I think it is important that myself and family spend time in nature, then I need to get off my backside, and either spend the time and/or the money on making it happen.
If I think it is important that there are small manufacturing businesses in our local town, one of whom just happens to make great white water rafts, to stay in business, then we need to buy their product. Their product is more expensive than the cheap Chinese manufactured boats we increasingly see on our rivers, but if we want a healthy community in our local town, then we need to vote with our wallet.
How are you planning on giving some integrity to your “like”?