Clicktivism doesn’t pay the bills
What good has the Kony 2012 campaign achieved? It seems right to ask. Last week, Invisible Children released a thirty minute follow up video to its Kony 2012 campaign.
Less a viral video than a lecture on the topic “Why we were right about everything,” it is a storied tribute to the Facebook and Tumblr activism of the Millennial Generation.
Let’s for a moment shift the focus and look at another generation – the generation of Vietnam, poll tax protest, and Bob Dylan. What did they achieve?
Well, they’re the generation now much maligned as the property arbitraging, stock market trading, oil burning, credit and welfare debt leaving Baby Boomer Generation. The one which “stole our future.”
But is the Millennial Generation doing any better? YouTube videos aiming to dethrone African warlords are fine – but as Jim Tankersley‘s recent article highlighted, “an individual’s emissions rise some 50 percent from the time he is in his 30s until the time he retires”
My worry is that addressing global challenges such as dethroning Joseph Kony comes at the expense of improving the lives of tomorrow’s young people when it comes to things we actually care about, like houses and jobs.
I’m sure future generations will thank us for tackling Kony – but how grateful are today’s generation for Vietnam and Thatcher at the expense of jobs today?
Social media activism is fine – but who amongst the young is ensuring that future graduates won’t send out 3,000 CVs at a time? Who is equipping future graduates with key skills? I fear we may have our priorities wrong.