"The word (slacktivism) is considered a pejorative term that describes "feel-good" measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction. The acts also tend to dilute awareness campaigns and require minimal personal effort from the slacktivist."
In a discussion we had during the digital natives with a cause? Thinkathon, we took a moment to reflect on Slacktivism and the role it plays in modern activism. A couple suggested we take the frugal definition of slacktivism: achieving the greatest good with the least effort.
The internet makes this pretty easy in a number of ways: retweeting on Twitter, liking a page on Facebook, blogging about it...all these ways are essentially participating in a cause but not necessarily effecting a change.
So why bother?
In our discussions I discovered what I believe is the reason and perhaps motivation for slacktivism. I believe that most people want to make an impact in whatever way they can, but they are not sure exactly what that impact is.
In a crisis scenario such as a major earthquake (say the Haiti earthquake for example), a number of people are ready and willing to help; but most of what they do is RT'ing on Twitter. My guess is that they do this with the hope of spreading information throughout their networks with the hope that it will be relevant to somebody who can use that information to effect a change. They have no clue what that change is, but they know for sure that their mouse clicks will in one way or another contribute to that change.
So in a way, slacktivism isn't laziness, rather its a lack of knowledge of the end result.
If people had a way to know what and how exactly they wanted to achieve, I believe we would see more active participation and with the rise of the internet and other digital tools, perhaps a new model of active activism would take centre stage.