Facebook: Inactivism at its Finest.

September 27, 2011

People. May I present to you the definition of inactivism:

Inactivism: Sporting different color magnetic ribbons or bumper stickers that say “Free Tibet” on your car. It may be a “support our troops” yellow ribbon, a pink breast cancer ribbon, or any number of preposterous incarnations meant to capitalize on this trend. When you put stickers and magnets on your car, you aren’t doing anything to support the cause. Thus, inactivism.

 

So let’s put this in Facebook terms, shall we?

Hitting “Like” for a cause – however noble that cause may be – does not make a difference if that’s all you do. 

Reposting something about cancer, the war, drugs, military pay, teacher rights or poor legless dogs in Africa – does not help much of anything if you’re not involved in other ways.

And neither does guilt tripping your friends into doing it.

Even if 97% of them were to magically repost it one day,

A. You should think about getting new friends and

B. It still would not fix any of the aforementioned problems.

Sitting at a desk while copying and pasting multiple status updates that look something like this:

~~~*****IF*~*YoU~~)()()()(LOVED^^^yOUR mOM More THAN AN EgGo WAFFLE^^ PLEASE REPOST. i loved my mom more than my EgGo waffles. for the realz. i bet 97% of my friends won’t have the GUTS to REpost this.~~~**^^^

does not mean that you loved your mom more than anyone else that has the brains not to repost. If my child EVER reposted something like this I would probably ban her from Facebook. for the realz.

Honestly. Hate cancer? Walk for the cure, use your time to get involved, visit people who are sick with it. You want to do something for the troops? Send money to the USO, write a letter to a soldier, send a care package. You want to be heard for your teachers? Go to school board meetings, attend Back to School, send them money for supplies. Think kids are all hooked on drugs? Get involved in a mentoring program. Have a heart for poor legless dogs? Money, time, effort. Maybe some fake dog legs.

Not liking. Not reposting.

And for goodness sake, if you simply must repost, if you can’t pass up the chance to announce to the world (or all 200 of your friends) how you are an ardent supporter of Kitties with No Faces – have the courtesy to delete the part about 97% of the rest of us not reposting it.

Because you’re right. We probably don’t have the guts, or care. Or we might be out actually helping those kitties to get new faces while you update your status.

Now go get your Eggo, call your mom, and back away from the copy and paste keys. After all, isn’t there a farm or zoo out there that needs your undivided attention?

That’s what I thought.

28 Comments

  • Leighann

    October 2, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Sweet Jebus how did I not know about your blog until now.
    I may have just fallen in love with you.
    Do not be scared.

    This is awesome!

    Love it!!!!

  • Tracy

    September 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    And this is exactly how I felt when I saw American Flags going up all over the country after 9/11. Granted, my perspective is different, but after being there, feeling all that I still feel, with vivid images tucked away securely in my brain, how the hell does putting up American Flags on your lawns, on your cars, or wearing them from head to toe while grocery shopping (seriously saw a lady this past year all decked in American Flag gear) help anything?

    SIDE NOTE: I think it was a guttural reaction for many, which is understandable…but come on lady in the grocery store 10 years later…

    ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: Sorry if anyone is offended by my thoughts of using the flag this way…well not really sorry, but if you stood in my shoes, you would get where I’m coming from.

  • Laura

    September 28, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Amen!!!!

  • Bethany

    September 27, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    This was a great post. In a time in history where there are thousands of easy ways to get involved in a cause you believe in, FB is the last place we should be going to raise pretend “awareness.” Whether you get involved through a community program, your church, by anonymously giving online, taking some clothes to Goodwill, or by standing on a street corner with a sign and a bucket, stop *liking* and *copy/pasting* and DO something!

  • Somer

    September 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    THANK YOU for posting this and making the point so, well, pointedly. I hate the guilt trips and the basic laziness of feeling like you are supporting a cause by clicking button.
    You rock.

  • Nicci @ Changing the Universe

    September 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    You forgot about that damn bra thing that was supposed to bring awareness to breast cancer. Yeah. I’m aware of breast cancer, thank you. Sharing the color of my bra ain’t gonna cure it. Hell it won’t even raise money for it!

    1. Jen

      September 27, 2011 at 8:39 pm

      OMG I hate these posts too! The recent one was something like 6 inches, 20 minutes. WTH does that even mean and what does it have to do with breast cancer?

  • Daneilia

    September 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I am so glad you said it! It get’s so frustrating to see all the re-posts…I was actually thinking about this situation last night. One of my cousins posted a “re-post about Cancer”. Of all things this one had to be about Cancer…but she knows no-one who had Cancer or has it now. But I have had several family members on my other side of the family with various Cancers. It’s not something I like to talk about because it’s heart breaking and its hard because I’ve lost family members to it. I just lost my grandfather earlier this year. I wish I could have been with him to help him through it the entire time but being military its not always plausible. Oh and the Military, I hate when people preach to me about supporting the troops. My husband is active duty so don’t preach to me. I do my part with being a volunteer for my FRG as well as helping other families. So I know what it means to actually “support the troops”; and when I do a 5k or race in general I always dedicate to someone or to a cause 🙂

    Anyways, sorry about my rant…but I know the aggravation that comes along with this. I don’t ever do the re-posts especially because some of them you don’t know if they are fact or fiction or they are just miscellaneous or whatever the case may be. This goes for the likes as well. Thanks for venting because I got to let out my frustrations as well.

  • Diane

    September 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I ” like” your post! 🙂

  • Summer Davis

    September 27, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Have I told you lately that I love you? Because I do. My sister had JUST posted something like the awesome Eggo post above when I read this and I immediately shared this post with her.

    Now excuse me while I go collect used shoes for people who have none. For the realz.

  • molly

    September 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Kitties with no faces? I officially want to marry you.

    But seriously . . . HELL TO THE YES.

    As someone who has worked in the non-profit industry for years trying to actually raise money, I can say for certain that I’d rather you join a walk team and raise $25 rather than like our facebook page. Please and thank you.

  • Cole

    September 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Agreed. Mommy has started to doubt the intelligence of MANY of her friends who repost the whole “FB has a new payment system” one.

  • Sarah

    September 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I can’t stop laughing….

  • The Mrs

    September 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Super-duper fantastic. Is that over the top? Doesn’t make it any less true.

    If I wasn’t at work right now – and therefore blocked from Facebook – I would be posting this link ALL OVER THE PLACE.

    Because I’m oh, so tired. And all I want to do is write back and tell them specifically that I DON’T CARE.

    As always, excellent job, Diana!

    –Sandi

  • jb

    September 27, 2011 at 10:12 am

    A to the MEN. That was brilliant.

  • TheNextMartha

    September 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Fist pumps!! Though the one that went around recently about Marc Zukerburg eating your brains with a spoon was funny.

    1. Suzanne

      September 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      I’m pretty sure Amy (babybabylemon) invented that one. Because she’s an evil genius.

  • Amber

    September 27, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Thanks for this. I always feel like someone is going to hate me for NOT retweeting those things, but I don’t do it because it doesn’t mean anything to me.

    I am trying to use social media for good with the #gowithout campaign (hope you don’t mind me mentioning it here). I’m encouraging bloggers (and even those with just Twitter/Facebook accounts) to tell us one little thing they are giving up to give to someone else who needs it. The details are here: http://wosushi.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/a-special-friday-inspiration-giving-back/

  • Noelle

    September 27, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Hahaha! I love it! I feel the same way. This is great. I better go post this to my wall….you know, before they start charging us for FB! Bwahahaha

  • Katie

    September 27, 2011 at 8:01 am

    AMEN!

    my favorite are the people who ‘like’ a million things about supporting the troops, and then make snotty comments to my boyfriend, who’s actually IN the army. do they even think about what they’re saying?!

  • Kristin @ What She Said

    September 27, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Ooooh, those status updates are the scourge of social media! I hate them.

    And on a related-but-not-really note, if my daughter EVER texts, posts, or otherwise writes like that, she will be banned not only from Facebook but ALL of technology, and instead be forced to write everything with pen and paper. INK pen and paper. By candlelight. Just like they did on Little House on the Prairie.

    Although, I did laugh at, “Do you love your mom more than an Eggo waffle.”

  • Mrs. MidAtlantic

    September 27, 2011 at 7:54 am

    It’s like the 21st century version of a chain letter. If you do not repost this comment, you will grow an extra pinky and your kitten will meow.

  • Veronica

    September 27, 2011 at 7:54 am

    BAHAHAHA preachhhhh!

  • Misty

    September 27, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Amen sista! I never do those repost things. Although, I am guilty of “liking.” However, causes that I really care about get special attention – I donate money or volunteer my time. You can’t expect that “just talking” will translate into action, just like you can’t expect that passive social media tools will change the world!

  • Jess

    September 27, 2011 at 7:51 am

    HAHAHA I love this. This is part of my love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love my friends on there–the ones who are really friends or ones I wish were IRL friends not just in the computer friends, not just miscellaneous acquaintances. It shocks and saddens me the crap some people post. REALLY?! You really think that by posting that you don’t want Mark Zuckerberg to charge your account won’t be deleted tomorrow? ::headdesk::

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife

    September 27, 2011 at 7:50 am

    I want to give you an internet fist bump! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • liz

    September 27, 2011 at 7:50 am

    LOVE THIS!

    Where can I get a kitty with no face support sticker? haha (j/k)

  • Jenny Georgio-who

    September 27, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Amen sister! You have no idea how much I hate those status updates. I also hate the “National Love your….” status update. I’m glad you love your mom, child, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent, that crazy lady down the street but believe me, its not national love anyone day. How about instead of posting about how much you love them you pick up the phone and call them or go see them and show them that you love them. Other than that keep that crap off of Facebook!

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