Saturday, December 4, 2010

That Facebook Meme

Let's talk about the latest Facebook Meme. Last night, this started popping up all over my feed:

Change your FB profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal? To not see a human face on FB till Monday, December 6th. Join the fight against child abuse and post this as your status.


Okay, so I'm supposed to change my profile picture to a picture of some random cartoon character and this is going to help stop child abuse. Do what now? No. Just no. I know this is a teaching blog, but I have to address this. Why? Because children are my life. I live and breathe so that kids can become healthy, functioning, happy adults. I care about children a lot. I care so much that, as I've posted recently, I've called CPS when a student needed me to help her. I'm far from the only teacher who has done this and many have done it much more often than I have. 

When another student was pregnant and was worried that her parents would harm her physically upon hearing the news, I helped set up the meeting at school for her to tell her parents so she could be safe. I care about the safety of children. I take action in order to ensure their safety.

You know what is not action? Changing your freaking profile picture on Facebook. Do you want me to tell you how much my students would have cared about my profile picture while they're getting beat by their mother or father? Not at all. They won't give a damn about your profile picture while they're being beat within an inch of their life. They won't give a damn when they are kicked out of the house because mom's new boyfriend doesn't like her kids. They won't care. And the slacktivism in changing your profile picture won't do a damn to help them.

This is like that whole Think Pink thing. Does my wearing pink socks really help breast cancer? No. Actually, the Think Pink thing might be better than changing your profile picture because sometimes when you buy an item with a pink ribbon, some proceeds go to breast cancer research. However, you changing your profile picture? Nothing happens. No one gets money. No authorities get called. No children are saved. 

If this was just a generic way to dredge up nostalgia, I wouldn't care. I'd participate. As it is, it's ticking me off that people are wearing their cartoon profile pictures like a badge of honor. You haven't done anything. However, you think you have, so you're going to sit back on your couch feeling smug about your inactivity. Some little kid is suffering, but you have a picture of Felix the Cat, so everything's cool, right? If you want to feel good about yourself, donate or volunteer. Showing a profile picture for "awareness" is ridiculous. Who in this world really didn't know that children can be and are abused?

Instead of changing your profile picture, share this link: http://www.preventchildabuse.org/

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