Logging on to Facebook has become a very problematic situation. Your friend from high school changes her profile picture to show respect for a recent tragedy, another friend shares a shocking photo of racist graffiti sprawled across a brick wall connected to the recent election, another posts Joe Biden and Barack Obama memes in efforts to “lighten the mood”. Nothing will change as a result of these posts, just something new to laugh at or something else to comment on.
With the rise of social media comes the creation of the term slacktivism to go with it. It can be defined as a way of using the internet to show support without direct participation. Though it has been an ongoing issue, this election result is proving its ineffectiveness to provide solutions to our grieving country.
After the election results, many Americans expressed their fear of harassment, dehumanization and even deportation. Those who need the help of free health clinics and support groups feel the shift of the republican party getting ready to pull the tablecloth out from under them. The fear is real, and their voices are strong.
Some put their soul into their reactions online, but are only greeted with retweets and replies. Unfortunately, telling someone “how brave they are” and “that they will pull through” these next four years will not erase the target on their back. It is not going to be just a step back for America, but so many people are about to get stepped on too.
We all feel the impact of this election in some way, so it is time we do something to promote positive change. Instead of worrying about the future, being proactive in our communities can lead to a domino effect of positive solutions. Rebuilding from this will not be easy, but hard work will pay o in ways that words cannot.
Though it may seem faster to click “share” on your phone, working together through peaceful protests, donating to trustworthy organizations and just being available to those who need it right now can have long lasting effects on our country.
For example, this year provided the biggest population of registered voters this country has ever seen. That includes the largest amount of young people, going to the polls to do their civic duty. Yet, a part of our civic duty is also to volunteer and help one another. We cannot pick and choose what parts we want to participate in, as paying taxes is another civic duty that most of us have to do unwillingly.
All jabs aside, it is okay to be upset and fearful right now. For the first time ever, all of my professors encouraged us to speak out about how we felt after the election. An overwhelming amount of support for one another surfaced on this campus. There is a change in the air that needs to continue. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere, we just have to get out there and act on our positive convictions.