The Caribbean-American writer, radical feminist, womanist, lesbian and civil rights activist Audre Lorde once wrote, “You cannot destroy the master’s house by using the master’s tools.”
I like to compare this quote to the situation that many activists find themselves in today when they rely on social media to inform, inspire, and instigate the general public. My organization, for example, could not exist without Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wordpress, and several other online media platforms. I actually designed my organization to function as much online as on the streets or in the classroom. From the beginning I envisioned Gandhi Earth Keepers International as a decentralized, project based, virtual resource network established to report on environmental justice events via photojournalism, blogging, and nonviolent direct action. Without the Internet this type of organization could not possibly exist.
Still, there is a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that is whispering something I knew long before I started this enterprise. As ubiquitous and influential as the Internet can be at times, online activism misses out on the real thing. Anyone glued to a computer screen is missing out on the real thing. Instead of looking at a picture of nature that I post on Instagram, wouldn’t it be better to go outside and experience nature firsthand? Instead of watching a video about the power of prayer and meditation that I upload on YouTube, wouldn't it be better to find a secluded area to actually go pray and meditate? Why listen to a song or lecture on Soundcloud, when you can strike up a conversation with your friend or sing a lullaby to your lover!
The most revolutionary act in the world is to unplug from the world. This is true Gandhian activism. By unplugging from the world, you can plug into a different source of power that does not derive from the world. This otherworldly power source can only be accessed when one's attention is not wired on the lower dimensional technologies like television sets, cellphones and computer screens. When one is ready to have the experience of living fully in the moment, God will eschew the superficial interface of screens and instantly manifest within the mind through a pure concentration of intelligent sound. When this happens a genuine activist has been awakened by their own inner voice and the world may be changed forever as a result.