With the ever-increasing level of convergence present in today’s society, online ‘participatory politics’ is becoming an unparalleled force, especially amongst youth. The art of clicktivism; the use of digital media to bring about social change, has come through very powerfully and widespread over the past decade.
Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is a leaderless resistance movement of people from different ethnicities, genders and political persuasions. The website states that ‘the one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.’ (http://jademaddison8.wordpress.com/)
This is an example of ‘participatory politics’ – “interactive, peer-based acts through which individuals and groups seek to exert both voice and influence on issues of public concern.” A tumblr blog titled “we are the 99%” allows those apart of such percentage to share the experiences that made it so,
-“I am 20 years oldand i cant find a job because i have no experience. I have no experience because i can’t find a job. I am the 99%”
-“I am a single mum of four, college student, shelf stocker, I go hungry every day. I am the 99%”
Henry Jenkins alleged that “58 percent of American youth forward links or share information through social networks at least once a week” – evidently there are large numbers of online youth participation. However, while OWS focuses typically on social media and the followers it recruits there, it may not always be the most successful avenue, and can easily be labelled as slacktivism which describes the ‘feel good’ measures involved with ‘liking’ or ‘joining’ an online campaign as such without actually putting in any physical effort. But, in my opinion, there is evidence to support that this is not completely true, to some degree there is a level of slactivism, but to another, there is a huge level of activism too, as pointed out by OWS and the online and offline protests they undertake. Henry Giroux, and American cultural critic stated “there’s something that brings these kids together that is in some way is more powerful even than the class and racial divides that separate them. So the world better watch out!”