On a day-to-day basis, we share our passion for social justice by sitting down and assuming our role as an activist. We share a post, the headline of an article, the date of an upcoming protest. We join groups – Pantsuit Nation, November 9th Society, Allies against Hate – through which we scroll for the right thing to share, for the right thing to show the world because we are such big supporters, even when Congress isn’t. If we feel like it, we write a rant and let it be known that we are angry, that we are fired up, because that’s what activism is, isn’t it? Screaming loudly to our own hand-picked audience and hoping that we won’t ignite any disagreements in the comments section, or worse, that people will cover their ears from our screams instead of doing the charitable thing and clicking the “like” button.
We change our profile picture to show we care. We wear safety pins out of solidarity. We like every post from that one friend who actually goes to protests, who founds social justice clubs, who writes letters to Elizabeth Warren and Rudy Giuliani, who waits in a line to talk to Gloria Steinem and asks her how she can make a difference in the world.
But why go to all that trouble when activism is a mere click away? In this new age, our phone is our platform, and social media our catalyst for the change we all so desperately want. God forbid we go out into the world for change. From the safety of our home, we activists can create change on the toilet seat, in total isolation, where no one’s opinion but our own needs be considered.
But although our opinions reign supreme, we are easily swayed by others. We pay attention to what is important to fellow activists, and we make sure to follow suit. So when someone uses the word “passive activism,” we make sure we don’t fit the definition. We strive to make it known how much we hate passive activism, so we write rants like this one. We vow to be better. Do more. Show all those passive activists what real activism is.
Then we copy and paste this rant and post it on Facebook.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.