I read Jason Collins announcing that he was gay. This is a pretty big deal since he’s the first active player to come out in one of the major sports in America. What made me really happy was seeing this collection of tweets reacting to his announcement. Our culture’s changing.
In the past, I’ve been rather cynical about the ability of a simple tweet or facebook post to change things. I satirized clicktivism before the term was coined. On the one hand, some cynicism is warranted. A lot of times campaigns can be lazy, and focus more on awareness than action. Afterwards, there’s no follow through. Who remembers Kony? CISPA passed, even though the predecessor was defeated.
Yet, the problem with cynicism is that its only antidote to apathy is… well, more apathy. “It doesn’t make a difference what I do, so I won’t do anything,” goes the thought pattern. By doing nothing, you tacitly uphold the values of the dominant viewpoint. However, by tweeting support and changing your facebook profile to an equal sign, you’re helping to create an atmosphere of acceptance. It isn’t doing nothing; it isn’t purely slacktivism. It’s encouraging and empowering to see your feed flooded with a message of tolerance.
This is especially important when there is still so much intolerance. If we’re quiet, then all anyone hears are those loud-mouth bigots and fuck them.