by Adedayo Ademuwagun
Bullshit-ivism is probably a new word to most people but the phenomenon is certainly not new.
It’s a form of activism that’s especially prevalent on social media these days. A lot of people on Twitter portray themselves as activists and try to muster a following by tweeting stuff that resonates with the people.
They also try to navigate to the top level by backing the right horses and putting out some strong messages. We should give them some credit for the good works they do sometimes.
However, most of what they do as activists is just bullshit.
So looking at our activists on social media and their different styles of activism, here’s an exclusive guide on how to practise bullshit-ivism.
1. Endorse politicians.
Politics and activism are like oil and water. They don’t mix, and that’s why real activists are always apolitical. They never endorse politicians or their parties. But today you see a lot of activists blatantly endorsing politicians, exaggerating their goodness and downplaying their bad sides.
These people pretend to be doing this because they really think this person has done well and not because they’ve been hired to do the talking or hope to get some gains for the endorsement. But any discerning person can see what they’re doing. It’s clearly not activism. It’s shit-ivism.
So to practise shit-ivism you do just that. You praise politicians and help them spread their propaganda. You attack their opponents and back your own politician when people bring up their faults. After all, you’re not an activist. You’re a shit-ivist.
2. Bullshit your people.
Everyday you see a lot of activists on social media controlling the conversation and swaying the people in a biased direction. The conversations look normal like they’re wholly from genuinely concerned young people speaking their mind and talking about issues that matter to the people. But it’s not what it looks like.
Many get paid to tweet about these issues and sway public opinion in a way that’s favourable to some politician. They’re hired to control the narrative. They tell lies to the people and mask their real backers. They tweet carefully crafted messages and make it look like they’re just expressing themselves. They try to come off as neutral.
These people give you the impression that they’re speaking for the people and that they’re the voice of the people. Nope. They’re not the voice of the people. They’re not speaking for the people. They’re bullshitting the people.
Practising shit-ivism is like that. You tweet in favour of the camp you belong to and you pretend you don’t belong to any camp. When people ask questions, you insult them and invite your followers to insult them. You’re getting paid. Your profile is rising. The people are deceived.
3. Criticise people unfairly.
Many ‘activists’ think activism is about ranting all over the place and condemning every single thing in the world. That’s not activism. Again, that’s shit-ivism.
Criticism is good and it’s a way activists keep politicians and other people on their toes. It’s how they push government to take action. It’s how they challenge authorities to step up and do things better. Activists criticise not with the intention of bringing people down and depicting them terribly. They criticise to build people up, to make things better and they criticise in a way that’s fair and considerate.
Don’t be like that if you want to practise bullshit-ivism. If you’re driving and the police pull you over for an hour, go on Twitter and rant about how the government is useless and how our police are the worst people in the world.
Insult the president and everyone who disagrees with your lopsided views about the government. Blame the government for everything including bad weather and when you cannot find your keys. Just rant, rant, rant. You’re going to get a lot of followers on Twitter.
4. Throw your weight around.
You remember some years back when someone lost his iPad on a plane and kicked up a lot of dust on Twitter because of what he believed to be bad customer service? Remember how he threatened to end the world if he didn’t get a new iPad? You remember incidents like that one?
Right, that’s what I’m talking about.
If you want to be a shit-ivist, throw your weight around the place and tell everyone around about how influential and important you are on social media. Blow your own trumpet. When you’re in some trouble in real life, threaten to go on Twitter to tweet about it and remind them that the consequences will be grave.
Remember that you’re popular on Twitter and your followers think you can do no wrong and that you’re the best thing since Mandela. So no one will question your authority when you throw your weight around and act like a lord. They’ll quickly get behind you and remind you about how amazing you are.
So you see it’s not that hard to be a shit-ivist. Just keep your mask on and play your cards well, and most people will think you’re a real activist.
Cover photo credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (POLAND)