06 March 2009

Facebook Fatigue

I think I'm suffering from Facebook fatigue.

I'll be the first to confess that I was one of those people who used to be dumbfounded to be told by a friend that they weren't on it.

'But it's great', I would protest. 'You can keep in touch with people really easily'.

Too easily....

How many friends have you got? Not Facebook friends, but real ones, that you genuinely care about?

And how many Facebook friends? I've got 129 at the moment. Not an enormous amount by a lot of peoples standards, but still probably more than I need.

There are people I went to school with, people who I know from work, and people who I don't really know why I know. It's nice to hear from folks you haven't heard of in ages and to read their news, but what I really don't need is to be asked to join any more causes, and the more friends you have, the more invites you get....

To me, Facebook Causes are the online blight of an apathetic society. It's wearing your heart on your sleeve and claiming the moral high ground whilst doing fuck all about it. A token gesture that says, 'yeah, I agree'. The self affirming nod of the self righteous.

There are currently 11,250 causes in the environment section on Facebook. The top one is 'Stop Global Warming', with 2,629,884 members, who care enough about the environment to sit at home and stick a little tab on their page that says 'I care about the environment me, aren't I nice.

I'm not dissing the concept. The philosophy of the group looks right and sensible. But what are this army of 2.6 million followers going to do other than feel smug because they believe in the principle? Why donate of course! And they feel so impassioned about supporting the initiative that between them they have donated a massive $31,018.

Shit, that's just over a cent each! They really do care!

Maybe I'm being cynical and cruel. You don't need to spend money to help cut global warming, so maybe they don't need that many donations, just help by following their advice on cutting energy use etc..

So what causes might need money? What would drive someone to say, 'I know this is not going to get fixed without some financial aid - I shall give, and let the world know I have given'.

Hmmm........ Cancer research? That's a nasty killer, that takes young and old without impunity. That's going to take more than a petition to sort. They need cold hard cash. Yes - where can I donate to Cancer research, and let the world know about it?

The biggest cause by membershipsize on the whole of Facebook is The Race to End Cancer

They have 4.7 million members

These members have donated $43k

That is not even a cent each.

Shame on you.

If you have the audacity to claim that you support a charity or cause that needs money, THEN FUCKING GIVE THEM SOME. If not, stop being a weak woolly liberal claiming to believe in everything that is good in the World, without either action, or putting your hand in your pocket.

Now if I say that I support a few charities, but don't name them, nor how much they get from me, does that mean I'm taking the smug moral high ground? Probably - I guess I'm just a hypocrite. Much like the rest of you I think cancer, poverty, and the treatment of our elderly population are all bad things, so I give what I can, when I can, and should probably give more. But what I won't do is tell everyone every time I do.

So I won't accept any of your requests to follow causes, however important they may seem to be. And believe me, if they are, then I will support them in my own way.

And if you choose to follow them yourself, then for fucks sake do it properly. It should be about helping make a difference, not just making a statement.

Now text climb 5 times to 88808, and don't tell anyone you did it....

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