Twitter: a place of worship?

Posted on May 23, 2013 by Hafsa Pathan

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Churches, mosques, temples and Twitter.
What do they all have in common? It’s a place where people go to pray obviously.

I kid you not. How often do we see the hashtag ‘pray for (insert name of location)’ when disaster strikes?

This week on Twitter, it was for Oklahoma’s dire state post-tornado. Creating these trending topics is nice. It’s a way for us to give an e-hug to our brothers and sisters all around the world. Showing them that we’re there for them and that we care. We would go help out if we could. We would definitely spend a week helping to rebuild homes and  feed the now-homeless. We would donate anywhere from $5 to $100 if we had the money. And it’s obvious that we won’t forget about the tragedy in the upcoming weeks when something else happens in the world that grabs our attention for another quick Twitter-praying session.

Right?

Wrong.

On my way to work the other day, I read an article igniting a debate between atheists and believers, sparked by none other than Ricky Gervais.  He had tweeted “I feel like an idiot now … I only sent money” in response to the thousands of Twitter users who tweeted “#prayforOklahoma”.

Now – I’m not going to get into this debate. It is not important whether or not I am a believer. The article merely highlights the insurgence of slacktivism . People jumping on the advocacy bandwagon without so much as donating $5 to the Red Cross.

Bandwagon jumpers irritate me like no other, and it’s even worse on social media. I can’t even begin to describe my annoyance when the Leafs were in the playoffs (yes it did happen, no it wasn’t a dream). Everyone and their grandmother was Twitter-cheering the Leafs on.

Fake fans aside, with issues like this where people actually need us to care and to support, a mere tweet isn’t going to do much. It’s not even spreading awareness because we all know what happened.

If you’re actually praying for Oklahoma, then kudos – you have my permission to tweet #prayforOklahoma. And please disregard this post as it is not a debating field for atheists and believers.

If you’re not praying for Oklahoma, then donate .

What do you think? Are people obliviously engaging in slacktivism? Are you one of them? Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Twitter .

Hafsa is a Social Media Coordinator at 88 Creative. Follow her on Twitter at @Hafs__ .

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