Your click does not deserve a pat on the back

Did you change your Facebook profile pic to a cartoon to help raise awareness about child abuse?

Did you recently vote for your favourite charity so that they could win funding through an online contest?

You suck.

Unless you actually sacrifice something for the causes that you pat your back on for clicking for, you did no favours and deserve no credit.

If this is actually a cause that is of importance to you, you need to spend time, talent or money. Volunteer. Attend a fundraising event. Write a letter to your MP or news editor. Donate. Even better, donate monthly.

Raising awareness is important, but not when the actual cause gets lost.

I challenge those who changed their profile picture to cartoons to donate or volunteer with orgs who fight child abuse (the original purpose of the profile pics). Here are 3 to start:

http://www.justiceforgirls.org/
http://kidshelpphone.ca/
http://www.fsgv.ca/

Update: I added the phrase “If this is actually a cause that is of importance to you” in order to be clear that this post is directed at those that actually are patting themselves on the back. I stand by my position, but added this for clarification

Update 2: This is me shaking my head at “you suck” as an eloquent choice of words to express myself. As hard as it may be to believe, I am, incredibly, not in high school anymore.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you! I just saw that cartoon-profile thing yesterday and rolled my eyes. People need to realize that it’s not the same as true advocacy.

    At the very least, one should post a link to an organization or even post a list of ways to recognize a child who has been abused. (Or whatever would fit with the cause.)

    Anyway, awesome post!

    1. Yes, eye rolling abounds. The last paragraph I used as a FB update last night, and got a lot of people reposting it, but some push back too.

      I should be clear that if you were just changing your profile pic, and weren’t giving yourself a pat on the back, you aren’t the intended audience.

  2. Indeed! While I wouldn’t say people “suck” for changing their profile pic (a little is better than nothing), I definitely agree that leaving your advocacy at a click is ONLY the beginning of putting in work to address a social issue…

    1. You’re right Tamar. “Suck” is a strong word and I used it expressly to evoke people’s reaction.

      It can be seen as a beginning, but I think it risks becoming the end of involvement for most people.

      Or even worse, hides the opposite (a friend described her furor at seeing an emotionally abusive [to his ex-partner and mother of his child] be one of the first to post this).

  3. Completely agree… Online “clicktivism” should not be the end of activism. People need to DO something instead of simply showing their support. That does not change anything in this world. Taking action means donating, volunteering, working, supporting, etc. Not changing your status.

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