The idea of simply clicking a button and somehow you are helping the world is an appealing one to most. However, liking a status on Facebook or retweeting on Twitter does not really help the cause or issue that is being promoted. It simply makes us feel better about ourselves by feeling like we have made a difference.
The “No Makeup Selfie” craze that took over social media was created to raise awareness for breast cancer. Everyone began posting selfies with no make up on and it began trending on Twitter and Facebook with all the big names of Hollywood contributing as well. However did this online activism really help the cause? Many believe that it did not do anything as many of the people who did take a selfie did not actually donate to the cause. Cancer patients spoke out against it claiming that taking a selfie with no make up was not brave and did not help such as Kim Stephens. Stephens says that showing healthy faces with no makeup on did not help her in her battle as it just emphasized that she was ill.
This comes back to the original topic of clicktivism. Did the thousands of no makeup selfies create awareness for breast cancer? Or was it a form of self promotion that simply made us feel better about ourselves?
Although social media has become a tool in order to create awareness of problems and issues around the world, it can never truly have the effect of a protest of thousands of people marching through the streets. It is the physical, not virtual protests that resonate with people the most.
Stephens, K 2014, ‘There’s no Bravery in No Makeup Selfies’, Brisbane Times, 28 March, viewed 6 May 2014, http://m.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/theres-no-bravery-in-no-makeup-selfies-20140327-35lyx.html