Thursday, March 15, 2012

You can't make a difference on your butt

I remember several years ago, when internet shopping was just getting big, there was a man who attempted to live a year without leaving his house. He ordered everything he needed off the internet, although I'm sure he was very bored.

The internet has come a long way in a short amount of time, relatively speaking. We can now sit on our couch and make money, announce pregnancies, engagements and deaths. We can congratulate people and wish everyone Merry Christmas/Happy whatever holiday without even leaving your house to buy stamps and mail holiday cards. In many ways, the internet has made us very lazy.

Here's a news flash: Posting your bra color isn't going to cure breast cancer. Telling everyone covertly where you put your purse isn't going to stop domestic violence. And posting videos of starving children isn't going to feed them, or stop child trafficking.

I rarely read articles posted on Facebook. I rarely share articles unless they are hysterically funny or for a cause I support and know about (and even then, they are few and far between). The fact of the matter is, posting random videos and articles about a variety of social issues isn't going to solve them. Awareness is one thing, but without action, it's meaningless.

This past week there was a huge to-do about KONY 2012, both for and against. For a couple days it was all over Facebook (the same videos, over and over again) and Twitter. Then, suddenly, it all stopped. People moved on, and started posting other videos, about other issues. Or about funny cats.

But you know what? There are still 30,000 homeless, starving, deprived and tortured children out there. Posting that video to Facebook did absolutely nothing to help that but bring a fleeting feeling of sadness and, yes, probably the desire to help. But it's fleeting.

I'm not telling you to donate to every cause you come across on Facebook. I'm not asking you to stop posting these things. If you feel the need to do that, then go for it. What I am asking is that you do more than just post a sad video while sitting on your couch.

Because "raising awareness" without actually taking action is just as meaningless as posting your bra color in your status.

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