The double tap is crap

Olivia Janik, Co-Editor In Chief

My sophomore year, Civics became a required class at LT that all sophomores had to take. With it came the Take Action Project (TAP). The idea of TAP was to teach students about the importance of taking meaningful action to solve a problem. Sadly, most of the time TAP became nothing more than the creation of an Instagram account that posted a few times before becoming dormant once the grade was in.

The TAP Instagrams are a great example of why using social media as a platform for change doesn’t work. Social media activism soared with the rise of Instagram. New accounts and hashtags flood social media platforms every day, each new hashtag burying an old one.

The main problem with social media activism is that it only creates awareness about a problem, without doing anything beyond that. With no call to action or clear set of goals to achieve, people forget about it and move on with their lives. Awareness is the first step to solving many of the problems that these activists wish to solve, but without a second or third step, the problems remain unsolved. In the best activism campaigns there are charities created people going door to door collecting donations, and countless calls to local representatives. A tweet saying #feminism isn’t the only thing people can do to create change, and it shouldn’t be.

In the right situation, activism on social media can be an instrument of change. Both the Women’s March and March For Our lives used social media to connect people across the globe to create change and organize marches. The #Metoo movement shed a light on the harsh realities of sexual assault. However, hashtags and Instagram pages aren’t all encompassing solutions to every world problem.

Another popular method of causing online change is the website, where users can create and sign petitions about any issue under the sun. was created with good intentions, but no matter how many signatures a petition gets, its ability to create change is limited. A petition is a helpful tool if it’s being used by community members to show local support for a measure being passed by the city council, but does nothing to stop the Amazon from burning. Petitions aren’t an end all solution, but because they are convenient, they are treated as such.

The reason people gravitate towards signing an online position or posting something on social media is because it’s easy. It gives them the satisfaction of doing good, but there is no sacrifice of time or money.

Another problem with social media activism is that there are so many posts on the internet that many troubles get pushed aside within days or even hours because of something new going on. The internet is designed to show us whatever is the newest, so no matter how important something is, it gets buried. There is no algorithm on twitter to remind users of the important issues the world faces.

Change takes time. Real and lasting change takes thousands of hours of work from countless people, more than that, it takes patience, the patience to understand that there is no quick and easy fix to all the troubles we face. Step one to create change is awareness. Social media makes people aware, but it’s what we do with that awareness that matters.