Op-Ed

Ky. Voices: Kony 2012: Time to move from clicks to action

Laura Kathryn Strader of Hiseville, is a University of Kentucky sophomore.
Laura Kathryn Strader of Hiseville, is a University of Kentucky sophomore.

Invisible Children created an uproar with the video promoting the Kony 2012 movement, an attempt to bring to justice Joseph Kony. It was a campaign centered around raising awareness and promoting involvement to result in change.

However, as time has progressed, the followers' dedication could prove to be phony.

In March, the charity's video exposing the long-present issue of fugitive Kony's terroristic and violent manifestations in Uganda went viral on social media. Facebook and Twitter feeds erupted with links to the video and Invisible Children's home page. The video received 80 million hits within one month. However, the views have stagnated since.

This weekend is the event, "Cover the Night," that the video promoted. The call to action was to purchase Kony 2012 products and to post them throughout cities to continue to raise awareness. By posting the signs throughout cities, the issue will be brought to the attention of everyone, even if they aren't on Facebook or Twitter.

Illuminating the issue to an older demographic could rally more support and work to involve individuals with more of an active voice in society.

A gathering for the event will be 9 p.m. in front of the Main Building on the University of Kentucky campus.

Although the video has been viewed and shared, the movement does require action.

While the movement — focused on Kony's recruitment of child soldiers into his Lord's Resistance Army — first generated a high degree of interest, there's been a rapid fall off due to lack of motivation, over-simplification of the message and the news that Invisible Children's leader, Joseph Russell, suffered a mental breakdown.

"People were just following it because their friends were following it, and then once they stopped following it then everybody else stopped following it," said Phillip Powell, a freshman at the University of Kentucky. "After the leader got charged with public indecency, I think a lot of followers dropped off," said Powell.

However, the charity is just a vessel for the true cause.

Adam Pennavaria, a senior at Glasgow High School, says there is hope for the campaign despite the leader's actions. "If the commitment behind an issue as dynamic as the Kony campaign is as strong as it is presented to the national media," he said, "then the actions of the leaders should not affect the commitment level of the volunteers,"

Making change will take more than sharing the video across social media outlets and spreading awareness through word of mouth. The hard truth is that it will take more than a few clicks of a mouse to stop the power of Kony and the LRA.

The real question is will the younger generation be willing to step out from behind their computer screens and do something that takes not only more effort but more time.

Will the followers fight Kony? Or, will they be phony?

The answer will be revealed tonight.

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