Hi friends. Excuse me for a moment, but I’m going to step up on my soapbox so that I can tell you to get off of yours. I’ve noticed a trend on social media lately, and I’m here to give it to you straight: stop hating on hashtag activism.
I get it, you probably do a lot for the conservative movement. You probably network like a champion, collect signatures on the campaign trail, and phone bank for candidates. You probably have a great internship with a think tank, write killer articles, and are vice-chair of whatever youth organization is most prominent on your campus. That’s awesome, seriously, it is. Thank you for all you do to further our message of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and personal liberty. You want to do all you can and I encourage that, but I’ve noticed so many young conservatives get uppity about social media utilization, and quite frankly, it needs to stop.
First of all, not everyone has the same opportunities as you. When you’re new to the conservative movement, you don’t have the resume that it takes to land the job you’re passionate about. You don’t have the network it takes to move up. Depending on your age and school, chapters aren’t available on your campus. Depending on your geographical location, there aren’t campaigns readily available for your help. You were probably in this position once too. Stop looking down on the people who don’t have the opportunity or know-how to get as involved as you are.
Second of all, not everyone wants to toot their own horn. Just because you only see someone active on social media does not mean they’re inactive in their communities. Just because someone works humbly behind the scenes and doesn’t list their every accomplishment in their Twitter bio doesn’t mean they’re nothing more than a keyboard warrior.
Third, social media is an amazing tool. Yes, we need boots on the ground and we need grassroots organization to change the direction of our nation. In general, we need to impact people. You know where people are? On social media. You can spend all day on campus tabling for a cause and walk away having only been listened to by a handful of students. Maybe you got 3 new members, maybe you got 40 signatures. You can spend 30 seconds composing a tweet or a Facebook post, then check back an hour later have reached 100,000+ people at one time. There is a place for BOTH methods in the conservative movement and they’re both necessary to building a stronger and better movement. . The more the merrier.
Fourth, it is better than nothing. We all have the same end goal. We have different ways of getting there, sure, but we have the same values and we are on the same team. If someone doesn’t contribute in the same way as you, would you rather they just do nothing, or would you rather they utilize their strengths and do what they can to get out our message? We’re stronger when we unify. We’re stronger when we’re together. We’re stronger when we collaborate.