“Armchair Activism” in the Connected World

Every rebellion, every fight for freedom or every social change did not happen on a physical battlefield or a strike, not when there were people protesting, not because people died for their beliefs.

It happens when an idea get planted in your head. A thought that challenged the status quo, a small sliver that changed the whole outlook you had towards the world.

Fight for human equality, be it from castes, be it from color or race or gender, it won’t happen when people are on the streets protesting, it wont happen over night, it will really be over when everyone on this planet looks at everyone else and see no difference based on caste, color, race, gender, sexual orientation or what not. This will only happen when thoughts change.

When we change, the world changes with us.

So what makes this change in people? Conversations. Research by self can help some people. But that is a whole different breed of people who goes in search for questions and then search for answers for those questions. Not common, I think.

So conversation is the key here. So how does protest on the street for human rights change people? Someone reads about in a newspaper, they have a conversation. CONVERSATION.

So people change when they talk, listen and finally understand.

This is 2016, those local teashops which became the philosophical battlegrounds are long gone. There are no local community trees under which people come in a talk about the world. We have the internet for that.

It almost won a Nobel Peace prize for the way it brings together people.

So in 2016, we do not need to go to the streets to make ourselves heard. The whole world hear, when a line is typed.

You cannot beat down a revolution, every physical blow you land on a revolution, makes it stronger, everyone you falsely put in jail, makes it grow wider, every martyr you create brings forth hundreds of them. But you can stop a revolution by conversation.

Now, let’s talk about “Armchair Activism”. What I feel is a derogatory term that is used against people who “do not get up from their armchairs” and use medium like Facebook and Twitter to spread their thoughts and feelings. The assumption is that they are somehow less than those who are on the field, fighting the righteous fight.
Are they ? Nope. They are the ones who spark the conversation. They are the ones who work on changing thought processes. They work on spreading ideas. When people call a discussion on a post as “comment farming”, it is actually about a conversation. Which changes people, which plants ideas, changing perspectives.

“I never thought about it like that”. Boom. Conversations bring about change, when was the last time a vanton act of violence in the name of “culture” or “tradition” changed your point of view to anything other than the exact opposite of what was intended by the perpetrators of violence.

Every activist, initiate conversation. May be digital, may be face to face. But everything changes the world. We change the world we live in. And then there are the douche bags who want to call those people willing to talk what they feel as “armchair activists”.

Just look at the censorship that is spewing up in every fascist regime to understand the power of an idea spread digitally.