One of my pet peeves about Facebook is the plethora of posts that go something like this:
I care about a lot of things, for a lot of reasons:
- Children: They are our future…. plus they’re cute, and defenseless.
- Breast Cancer: My sister has it–Stage IV; I would love to see it cured. I would love to see her cured.
- Cancer (in general): My mom, my grandma, my aunt, my friend’s dad, my friend’s mom… a lot of people get cancer, and I can say with certainty that Cancer Sucks.
- Autism: A good friend of mine has an autistic child.
- Drug abuse/ Alcohol abuse: I drive.
- Unemployment: I am unemployed, I’d like good jobs to be available. I’d like others to have good jobs to fill up the coffers of the United States so we can continue to offer services to those less fortunate.
- Immigration: aren’t we all (well most of us anyway) immigrants? plus, I believe that our society is made richer for the many immigrants we have here already.
- Violence against women (or anyone for that matter): Like cancer, Violence Sucks. I’ve been lucky. I know people who have not been so lucky.
- Women’s Reproductive Rights: I am a woman. I want to have a say in what happens to my body, and I want others to have that opportunity as well.
- Equal opportunity for EVERYONE: again, I’ve been lucky, and I would like the same opportunities that I have be available to everyone.
- The War in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else for that matter. War is wrong.
- The Environment: I like breathing clean air, I like having clean water. I like animals and pristine meadows and pine forests…. and I don’t trust the Corporate World to take care of these things for me. They’ve proven their inability to do so time and time again.
- Health Care for everyone: see above note about Cancer. When I finish school and have to go get a job, if I don’t find one with health insurance I’m looking at at LEAST $400 per month for a basic crummy plan that would at best keep me out of bankruptcy should something catastrophic happen… So do the math on that: a minimum wage job (in New Mexico it’s $7.50/hour) take home pay is $15,600 annually. After paying for health insurance, that would leave $10,800 take home to cover rent, utilities, food, transportation, clean underwear… While I am going to assume that I can bring home more than minimum wage, there are many many people who can’t. And let’s face it, many of them are doing the jobs we don’t want.
I could list even more issues that I care about, but you get the point.
If I change my Facebook status will you change your mind about anything? Does anyone with any power read my Facebook status ? (I will say ‘no’ because my privacy settings only allow Friends to read my status.) To me, the call to “change your Facebook status” is nothing more than slacktivism at its finest.
This is not to be confused with CALLS TO ACTION, actions that may indeed invoke change: donate money, sign an official petition, contact your representative, write a letter to the editor, participate in an event, or even get educated about an issue and then share that knowledge.
So I won’t be changing my Facebook status for a cause, and I won’t ask you do to the same, but don’t be surprised if you see me ask for your support on an issue, urge you to vote, or invite you to an event, or remind you to let your city council, your county board, as well as your state and federal representatives know how you feel about an issue. And if you don’t agree with me on an issue, polite, civil discussion is always welcome, or you can say “no thank you.”
If you like to change your status to reflect your support on issues, by all means continue to do so. But if you’d like tips on how to parlay your social network into action, check out this article, “How to Turn Slacktivists into Activists with Social Media.”