I have a serious love-hate relationship with social media. Love the baby pics and cat videos; hate the subtle encouragement of carefully curated phonyism. Love the possibility of connecting with people on a meaningful level; hate people mistaking transparency for full disclosure. Love catching news and thought-provoking stuff my friends share; hate folks thinking they can change minds with a click.
I'd long accepted that social media activism was "slacktivism."
In the past year, though, I've seen some friends post thought-provoking stuff, and then facilitate the ensuing comment thread with patience and persistence, ultimately resulting in a few others accepting the challenge to think and act differently. I haven't witnessed a Facebook post transform a bigot into a justice warrior, but some social media activists seem to be successful in pushing others, incrementally, in the direction of questioning the systems and their own personal, deeply ingrained beliefs that keep us from making gains toward equality.
And then there's the heart-warming sensation I never get enough of, White Nonsense Roundup.
I'm accepting of some social media activism, and I know it is not a substitute for in-person action, a.k.a. showing up. There are rallies, protests, meetings, and other actions that we must all take, to exercise our voices and advocate for what's right. As I heard DeRay McKesson say early this year, "Protesting is truth telling in public, using our bodies to speak." If we don't show up, we aren't saying much of anything meaningful.