Thursday, 25 February 2016

Social networking awareness posts. 'May I ask a favour'

We've all seen them, at least, those of use who use social networking services have: those posts.
They begin with a long post about something that devastates lives, such as cancer or depression or child abuse. Then you read the words 'May I ask a favour?' followed by a request to copy paste the post to your own status for an hour or a day. The reason for this request is to 'raise awareness' or 'show that you care' or 'in memory of someone you knew who suffered'. The request is accompanied by statements like '90% of people won't do this' and 'if I don't see your name, I will understand'.

By this time I am usually steaming! Understand? What will you understand, may I ask?
Oh the implications are clear: only the ten percent of special people who have a compassionate soul will share it. If you don't it's because you don't care about anything but yourself.

No, actually, your 'understanding' is wrong.

These posts are the social networking equivalent of dropping 2p and a boiled sweet into a charity collection. It's minimum effort, no expense, and you get to feel that you helped, even if just a little. You don't even have to spend any time writing your own thoughts on the subject, just copy what someone else wrote.

They prove nothing. Ignoring doesn't mean that I don't care, it means that I react badly when someone tries to use peer pressure and psychological shaming to try to force me to 'prove' that I care.  Waving a big red flag with 'I care' on it (or sharing a status) is so much cheaper and easier than actually doing anything useful.

If you think that ignoring those posts makes me a bad person, that's not my problem.

Luke 18 v10 seems to apply here.

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