I love social media. I think it is a great way of staying connected with loved ones in an extremely busy environment. I think it is a great way to market one’s talent, too, and an excellent way to build communities and share ideas. However, as I troll Facebook, I have become troubled by what I see.
No, it’s not about people sharing when they wake up, eat breakfast, lunch or dinner, take a dump or go to sleep, nor do my feelings have anything to do with these pictures that double as comments. Those are all annoying (although some are funny), but it doesn’t worry me like a new trend I am noticing does.
It’s the whole like if you want to cure cancer type posts. I’m seeing them more and more and they are getting worse with each passing day. The other day I saw the following post: “Like if you believe in God. Don’t like if you don’t believe in God.” There was even a picture of a dog, which asked Facebook users to “like if they think the dog is cute, comment if they think the dog is ugly.” My least favorite post said: “Re-post this if you’re against bullying. I bet 50% of you won’t re-post, but I’m sure the people with a heart will.” Really?!
Funny enough, the latter post is actually a major major guilt trip, which is a form of manipulation used to bully people into following the whims of the poster. I found it ironic that they wanted to bully people into supporting an anti-bullying initiative. And it’s not that I am pro-bully, but I hate the guilt trip. Basically, you’re manipulating people to like your posts, which my sister cleverly calls spiritual and social blackmail. You want someone to like something you support, so you guilt them into it. It means if you don’t like a post, you hope there isn’t a cure for cancer. If you choose to keep your beliefs to yourself, you actually make it appear that you don’t believe in God, because you didn’t like their post. It means you don’t love God?
But here’s the thing; if you do click the “like” button, does Cancer become cured. If everyone on Facebook clicks the “like” button, do we all get to live cancer free? This is where the real problem lies. I think people post these messages and feel they have done their part. That is certainly not the case. Maybe if you posted, “Like if you want to see a cure for cancer and I will donate X amount of dollars to the Walk for a Cure,” then your social media activity is actually helping to accomplish something. It’s so easy for someone to make others feel small with these manipulation posts,” but it takes a whole lot more effort to actually step away from the keyboard and do something to support the cause.
I have used social media to help the cause. I donated money to cancer research, Hurricane Sandy relief and Lupus and I have posted about it and encouraged others to do the same. The troubling factor is that I am seeing these “Like if you want cancer to end” posts from people who never show support to any cause. If they want to keep that aspect private, then they shouldn’t address the situation to begin with. If you cannot donate money during this economy, that’s fine, but instead of manipulating people into liking a post, how about taking part in a cancer walk…and if you are unable to do that…simply post a link to a charity and help the cause in that way.
Likes don’t accomplish anything. Everyone wants cancer to end. I can’t imagine anyone wanting people to die of cancer. Those people may not know where to go to help bring a cure to cancer. Liking your post accomplishes nothing. Help make people aware of sites that end cancer. Make people aware of groups that help address bullying. And don’t insult puppies. Dislike!