Monday, December 13, 2010

Slacktivism, FTW!

My friend had this status on facebook last week:
Breaking news: Child Abuse Cured by Facebook Cartoon Pictures.
It made laugh. But not as much as the replies. "It will make people feel better. That counts for something." "What's wrong with making yourself feel better?"

Since when did it turn from 'stopping child abuse' to 'making yourself feel better about child abuse'?

"It's the best some people can do."

Really? I doubt it. Maybe for some people it is, maybe others actually do donate time and money in addition to changing their profile pic but I am going to venture a guess that most do not. Most people could be doing a lot more.

When people hear about an issue such as abuse, starving children, cancer, etc. The think "oh noes, that's so terrible, so sad!" They rush to the Interwebz to change their picture or status then forget about it and go back to their Wii games and their steak dinners. The Interwebz are great that way, with a simple change of you fb status to the colour of your bra, or a well written, morally outraged forum post you can truly feel like you've made a difference in the world. You can put a checkmark in your morality column for the day and go on your merry way, not giving the issue a second thought.

People who really do their best are the exception, not the rule. But hey, now that I made this blog post I can feel better about knowing that, and so can you!

"It gets the message out there."

Possibly, but without putting in any other effort those messages mutate from 'there is an issue' to 'look at me, I'm such a moral person, I care about this issue.'

I leave you with the wisdom of twitter: "Changing your avatar to a cartoon to prevent child abuse is like changing your avatar to a treadmill to prevent obesity." - @ruthakers


Farzad Fincher said...

totally agree. Actually I had announced my hatred to people who change their profile picture on social networks. They just think they are helping with something and they are useful but it's just a stupid game!
Speaking of this recent issue, child abuse, it's even more ridiculous. for God's sake, how possibly changing a picture on FB could prevent child abuse!!!

iistor said...

Thank you for eloquently putting into words my exact feelings about this trend. I feel the same way about those "95% of people won't put this as their status, be part of the 5%" things. Ugh. I refuse to participate in that ridiculousness. Though, I don't mind Pokemon profile picture month. I'm enough of a nerd to giggle at that.

On a side note, I just finished reading all of your blog posts and I like you. In that special sensation in my pants kind of way. But that might just be the fact that I sat on a snack cake a few minutes ago and the frosting is seeping through my jeans. Feelings are so confusing...

Anastasia said...

@Farzad - You mean you can't picture someone about to abuse a child but then stop and think to themselves "Wait, I can't do this...there are CARTOONS on FB!"

@iistor - Aww, don't happen to have any more of those snack cakes, do you?

iistor said...

I ALWAYS have more snack cakes. They're one thing I can't resist, no matter the situation. Big assignment due? Hmm, think I'm gonna go eat some snack cakes. Arterial bleeding? Oooh, let's stop for snack cakes. House on fire? Gotta save the snack cakes. Truly, snack cakes are my mortal weakness, my kryptonite.

Oops. Now everyone knows my mortal weakness. CURSES.

Anyways, you can come over some time and I'll share them with you. I even promise the house won't be on fire.

Anastasia said...

Thanks! I usually prefer my houses not on fire.