Written by Lilian Ndongmo. ESL Teacher

The word slacktivist is  coined from two English words: slacker and activist.

A slacker is a person who is slow,  inactive, lazy, avoids work and responsibility.

An activist is a person who is very active in advocating a political or social cause. He or she speaks, writes, gets involved, and takes action publicly in support of his or her ideas or cause.

Slacker       +      activist   =  slacktivist


A slacktivist is a person who publicly claims to support a cause but takes very little action or measures, and makes minimal effort to have an impact.    

Slacktivism is the act of publicly involving in activities or taking actions in support of a cause that have very little effect. 

Some examples of slacktivism include copying and pasting statuses, messages on social networks, signing offline or online petitions, and joining an organisation but not getting involved in its activities.

There is a growing debate on the activities of slacktivists and the effect they have on a given cause. While some maintain that slacktivists are not truly committed and devoted to their beliefs, others argue that slacktivism has made many more people aware of social and political woes than ever before thanks to the internet and social media. These so-called slacktivists, minimal though their actions may be, are more likely to get actively involved and their activities can create a lot of attention worldwide.

Food for thought.

Are you a slacktivist or an activist?

Is slacktivism effective in impacting a cause?

Note: A slacker can also be used to describe a person who avoids military service.


Click to listen to the pronunciation.

Activist  activist

Slacker slacker

Slacktivist   slacktivist

Slacktivism   slacktivism