I’m normally easy-going but occasionally my blood boils and the slacktivism in Spain, and indeed the world over, is something that really gets my hackles up.
Let’s kick things off with Cecil the Lion
I think the killing of Cecil the Lion was appalling. I disagree completely with animals being killed for sport. I was really upset about it and I don’t even like cats particularly!
Cecil is one lion, and if you can bring one upside out of this (difficult I know) it has raised awareness of the despicable “sport” to a whole new level. Now this is where social media really comes into its own. Within hours the entire online community knew and were appalled. Suddenly people were looking outside of their bubbles and were reminded that not all the world is a nice place.
But let’s look at some of the reactions more closely for a minute. It seems to be split into two distinct types: Memes and Vigilantism.
Within 24 hours our social media feeds were bursting at the seams with images of Cecil. Cecil having a stroll. Cecil with his ladies. Cecil looking like the king he was. And then finally… Cecil dead, nestled between two grinning hunters who had paid tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege.
To be fair, those memes could have had any lion on them. I certainly couldn’t tell if it was Cecil or not – but I guess that’s not the point.
In equal measure came the death threats, the baying for blood, the openly vicious responses from many that took us right back to Roman times where a good day out was to head to the arena to watch some bloodsport. Have we really not progressed beyond that?
It’s ridiculous though, because most people willy-waving about it are too gutless to have carried out an iota of what they suggested anyway.
Dogs in cars
Most of us will have seen the shocking video of a boxer struggling for its life in a car outside IKEA. If you haven’t, then click the link – but be prepared, it is very upsetting.
Yet how often do we see this happening still? Time and time again! I just can’t believe people still leave their pets in cars on hot days. Not only dogs but kiddies too.
We’re talking about supposedly educated countries here. Countries where we have the internet… the telly… and so much publicity surrounding the dangers of hot cars. How can this crap still happen? Only this week a child was left in a car in Marbella (more info). Obviously all those Facebook shares and Tweets are failing to stop it.
A massive high five should go to IKEA though. How have they responded? They’ve started installing “dog parking lots”. The first is at their Cologne store in Germany. Read more HERE.
Let’s bring it back to Spain again. It’s easy to get angry about bullfighting, or bullrunning. But how many of us have marched up to our local Ayuntamiento covered in red paint, holding a banner to get attention? No – I didn’t think so. Instead the sound of laughter echoes across the internet whenever a person is gored, or is trampled to death.
Personally I do not approve of bullfighting, although I do find the memorabilia fascinating – in the same way that I enjoy learning about traditions all over the world.
There is a school of thought that says: “It is a tradition, respect it.” Yeah, female circumcision and child marriage is tradition in some places… I don’t respect that either.
Slacktivists slacktivists everywhere…
Social media slacktivists are getting themselves bang at it with their vigilante “answer violence with violence” rants. I am willing to wager that 80% (80/20 rule – Google it) of the people spouting violence from the safety of their comfy armchairs thousands of miles wouldn’t dare go and face this situation head on.
How many people have put down their ice cold G&T and tried to do something real about it. Well no – because it’s so much easier to spend two seconds ranting on Facebook about it. It’s so much easier to take 2 minutes to fill out a “next to useless” petition or share a post or Tweet your feelings. It becomes something you can do in passing while the Corrie advert break is on or while you’re waiting for your Bubble Witch Saga lives to fill up again.
How about pulling our fingers out of our backsides and doing something that matters.
Next time you see something online that makes you angry – why not do something REAL about it?
- Go tackle the big cat hunters head on!
- Go see that bimbo in the US who posts pics of herself having shot yet another glorious creature.
- If you can’t visit, then write to them… tell them.
- Write to your government… to your local MP – not a petition… a real letter.
- Make your voice heard by more people than your 47 Facebook friends
- Can’t travel? Do something more local then. There is not a single area of Spain that lacks a charity that is desperate for your help… your time… your money!
- Take a brick to the window of that overheated car in the local car park where the dog is breathing its last. So you might get arrested – so what? You will at least have saved a life.
- Spend time helping in a soup kitchen.
- Collect food for families that are really struggling
- Volunteer to spend time with underprivileged children
- Visit the elderly neighbour that can’t venture further than their garden path
- Go and clean out some kennels at the local animal shelter
- Foster some kittens or puppies
- Spend more time than clicking a share button and actually put yourselves out properly with time and effort to raise proper money for a cause close to your hearts
- Do SOMETHING for goodness sake!
Sharing a link or posting how angry you are does not change the world – it just highlights to others that you can use a keyboard or smartphone. Get out of your comfort zone and do something. Make a real difference to this world that, according to your Facebook feed, is such a despicable place.
No doubt there will be a flurry of comments from Disgruntled of Costa del High Horse after this. That’s great! Get fired up… but please do something positive with all that energy too.