We all hate the guy that got caught jacking it trying to save the children in Africa from Joseph Kony. Why?
Spreading awareness is an easy target for cynical critics–mostly because of the pompous righteousness of the slacktivists who rest their laurels on “spreading awareness”. Smart people can smell the bullshit for what it is.
My stance: spreading awareness is bullshit if done to elevate ones own status. How can one judge if this is what someone is doing? I don’t know. Spreading awareness is probably never for purely altruistic purposes. Some people might simply not know what else to do, and so they cling to this one thing they can do. Some (probably most) people are bandwagoners, and these people are actually just clueless, mostly motivated by fear of not projecting the “right” values publicly.
AT THE SAME TIME
Spreading awareness is also what you would call sharing information about important issues. There is nobility in championing a cause.
The reason there is status to be gained by the slacktivists, and the reason people try to attach themselves to causes for status, is because there are real people out there that accomplish good things through raising awareness. Sometimes we call these people whistleblowers, sometimes we call them martyrs, sometimes we call them heroes. There are real stories about these people, and they really did accomplish good things. Not everyone is a charlatan.
….but probably 99.99999% of the time the cynics are right.
Let’s get murky.