These silly keyboard warriors

You’ve seen it by now. The countless retweets, Facebook shares and photos showing people holding signs reading #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS.

Regular Joes, celebrities and even the First Lady of the United States have participated in another social media justice campaign, this time to raise awareness over the kidnapping of 200 plus schoolgirls in Nigeria, perpetrated by an Al Qaeda associated Muslim extremist faction Boko Haram, who’s intentions are to sell them into slavery or kill them.

While I do belive there are sincere individuals and organizations facilitating all of their resources to help resolve this tragedy, I fear this will be another failed social media justice campaign. Not due to lack of awareness (theres plenty of that) but how much of this
internet activism will actually translate into action? Theres only so much tweeting, instagramming and Facebooking one can do in order to address a deadly regime.

And not just that. We also have the phony outrage seeping yet again into this story.

When attempting to reshape a country’s socioeconomic policies, and ideology such an attempt requires a consistent, super human dedication to strategizing, analyzing, mobilizing and etc. Especially when intervening into a conflict involving Boko Haram. 

You may find these tactics are more well suited for government officials, but we don’t have to be politicians in order to enact change. We can demand our elected representatives to become more involved in not just saving these girls but to come up with viable solutions to address our evolving problems in our own respective countries.

This also involves not voting for the same schmucks every election cycle. The greatest revolutions had grassroot beginnings and most of them succeeded. They succeeded because the leaders behind these movements were constantly in the face of those in power, making their presence known.

The Civil Rights movement would have never achieved the victories it had if those Black leaders marched and rose hell for a week. The movement succeeded because it was a never ending fight for equality. The movement still wages on in 2014.

And that’s where this generation fails.

With our advanced technology we are more capable than ever to solve problems, but rarely do. Keyboard warriors complain on the internet for a week or two, engage the help of their friends, rile up their emotions and nothing. The novelty wears off and since the latest global crisis no longer seems attractive, they move on to something else (KONY 2012, anyone?)

The epitome of phony outrage.

About two weeks ago I told some friends that people will get upset about Donald Sterling for a week, then once its no longer cool to make fun of cultural American racism, they’re going to move on to another story and tadaaaa!!!

I told you so.

Unfortunately some people in this society are more content with jumping on the global crisis bandwagon for a brief period of time, rather than sacrficing some of their time to resolve an issue, and then wonders why these issues continue to exist.

And honestly, these issues have always existed in Africa. Their inhumane conditions do not surprise me because I have always had the knowledge of that continent’s troubling welfare.

Key word.


Not many people know because they simply don’t care enough to know. You say you care about these girls but these girls dont need just tweeting, they need to be rescued.

That requires taking action not only including a mouse and keyboard. How many of you will continue to follow this story getting involved for their safety? And how many of you won’t do it because it’s too much work, while sitting on your butt watching playoff sports?

In closing I believe it is a noble deed to raise awareness on social media. It’s always positive to make our society aware of unknown conflicts as we should always aim to understand and contextualize the world around us. 
But the purpose of raising awareness is useless if people do not join together to tackle whatever issue they are shedding light.

Oh and by the way…

Where are these social media activists protesting the daily problems which exist in our own respective countries?

About the Author
Dennis Austin is a student who is from Chicago.