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    Changing Your Facebook Status Will Change The World (In Case You Can't Tell, I Am Being Sarcastic....)

    Red, Black, White, Plaid

    Remember that from a few years back?  Or was it just yesterday, the damned internet somehow distorts time or something….  Anyway, you remember though right?   It turned out to be some  sort of ‘meme’ (fuck I hate the misuse of a term invented by Richard Dawkins, but I digress) that was supposed to ‘raise awareness’ of breast cancer.  Raise awareness.  I can think of at least two friends off of the top of my head who have had breast cancer.  One of them is dealing with it right now.  I imagine most of us know about the existence of breast cancer.  But no, we need to ‘raise awareness’.  No, I am sorry, we do not.  This sort of bullshit slacktivism makes me want to set fire to every little ribbon worn for every cause ever. (On a side note, the first time I saw this run of colours on a status I thought it was a reference to Babylon 5, man I am a geek....)

    Oh but Dave it does no harm.  Bullshit.  This sort of crap makes people think they are doing something when they are doing fuck all.  So, they then, I would argue, think they have contributed somehow.  So, instead of actually contributing to charities, or volunteering their time, they just change their facebook status.

    Now, there are legitimate cases where ‘raising awareness’ is actually sensible.  Like putting up a poster for something with actual information.   If you know me you know I wear a cause bracelet.  It is for the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada.  I lost my Dad to brain cancer a few years ago.  I give money to the brain tumor foundation.  When people ask me what the bracelet is for I tell them about brain cancer, about my Dad, and about how to donate.  It is also a way for me to honour the memory of my father.

    Don’t even get me started on ‘for every share of this picture, facebook will donate a dollar to cause x y or z’.  Are you people morons?  Do the math.  (I never said there would be no math).  There are 800 000 000 people on facebook.  Let’s say something actually was shared by 1 percent of fb users.  That would put whoever is supposedly donating, on the hook for 8 million dollars.   Snopes is your friend, use it.

    Get out there, give money or time to charities.  The aforementioned Brain Tumor Foundation, the Red Cross and Amnesty International are my three favourites, and they get money from me every year.  But don’t change your facebook status and think you have made a difference.  All you have done is clutter up everyone’s timeline.

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    Reader Comments (2)

    I also hate those posts that claim that "93% of my followers won't have the courage to repost this." Really? And how, pray tell, did you come across this number? Was there an actual statistical study with conclusive results? I also despise the "repost this if you support our troops." Yes, I support our troops and no, I will clutter up everybody else's news feed by posting arbitrary text that only a hundred or so people will see. Also, don't repost virus, predator or anything about some sick kid wanting a post to spread all over Facebook before he dies before checking Snopes. I will embarrass you publicly and have already done it a few times.

    Great blog, Doc. I spent a bit of time reading your past posts and found them to be highly entertaining. I am, by the way, Marc Pelletier's data analyst here in Cleveland.

    February 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlienCG

    Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, the misuse of even the most basic stats stuff pisses me off to no end. Wait, there may be a post there somewhere...

    I mean they could at least give an MOE....

    I started thinking about this with all of the ribbons etc. I just don't know what they do. Plus I hate having to conform to something. I think there is a Seinfeld episode where Kramer won't wear an AIDS ribbon (though he was in the walk raising money etc.) Somehow there is always a Seinfeld connection.

    February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave Brodbeck

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