Dr. James Young
Assistant Professor Criminal Justice and Social Work, 308.865.8739

The American Democracy Project will host “Social Media and Civic Engagement: Slacktivist or Activist” on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

“The overall goal of this event is to facilitate a discussion about social media and its effects on our society,” said Dr. James Young, assistant professor of criminal justice and social work. “More importantly, I would like to discuss the idea of ‘slacktivism’ and its place in our lives.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Nebraskan Student Union Fireplace Lounge at 12:15 p.m.

According to Dr. Young, who will facilitate the discussion, ‘slactivism’ is the idea of using technology such as social media to engage in a variety of causes with little to no effort on the part of the individual.

“I hope to discuss the activists we see on social media such as Facebook or Twitter, and whether or not they are having an impact,” Dr. Young said. “My question, which I hope to engage others in a discussion about, is ‘What does it truly mean to participate in a cause?’”

“Examples of slacktivism are signing an Internet petition or copying and pasting an organization’s status update into your Facebook feed, or retweeting a message on Twitter,” Young said. “Social media is probably the number one contributor to slactivism according to critics as they argue that little to no change is seen from these efforts, or the slactivist is not changed through this process.”

For more information about the event, contact the American Democracy Project at 308.865.8935 or e-mail adp@unk.edu