Confessions of a Slacktivist
It’s confession time. As much as it pains me to admit, it’s time to come clean.
I, Katie Turner, am a slacktivist.
While I really do have deep-rooted concerns about the issues plaguing both our local and global community, I just can’t seem to find the time to save the world.
If I could, I would hop a plane to the Arctic and save the polar bears, or maybe go to the Third World and find a solution to world hunger, but my day planner is already jam-packed.
I own numerous T-shirts with the words “peace” and “love” but the only thing I’m really supporting by sporting these duds is consumerism.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve gone online to look into volunteering for groups like Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Calgary, Habitat For Humanity and even the Calgary Humane Society.
But it seems that every time I’m on these websites, about to fill out an application form, the two essays and 10 assigned readings I have to do pop into my head and I once again veer away from clicking the “submit” button.
Fully aware that it’s pathetic to continue to make excuses, I log on to Facebook and accept invitations to activist groups. Although I know that my presence in this online group will have little impact, in some twisted way, it makes me feel a little better about not actually volunteering.
A few of the 47 groups that I belong to include: Save the Elephants, Human Rights Watch and Flick Off, just to name a few. Never have I ever actually prevented an elephant from dying or made any significant contribution to human rights. I do however, make a conscious effort to turn off lights, which the Flick Off group advocates, but whoop-de-do. Does that really accomplish anything?
After thinking about the concept of slacktivism for the last week or so, I’ve not only realized that I’m guilty of slacking off, but that all it really takes to be a volunteer is a little dedication and time.
Making it a priority to set aside even a couple hours a week could make such a huge difference.
We all have something to offer to others, whether it be in the form of a skill, a financial contribution or time.
As of right now, Volunteer Calgary has over 450 positions open around the city and organizations can be selected by areas of interest, which include everything from working with animals to outdoor adventures to arts and crafts.
Your volunteer experience can be tailor-made to suit you. How can any of us say no to that?
If the idea of venturing off-campus to lend a helping hand is too much to bare, there are plenty of opportunities at Mount Royal as well. The campus website has an entire page dedicated to volunteer positions for students.
Whether it’s mentoring a young kid, helping to build a home for a family in need or even dropping off a few cans at the food bank, anything, big or small, that gets us physically active in the community helps.
Not only does volunteering benefit others but chances are you’ll walk away feeling pretty good about yourself (and if nothing else, at least you can pad your resume).