Like and Share … OR ELSE!

just stopI need a moment.

Let’s take a moment, shall we? C’mon. It won’t hurt. Promise.

Raise your hand if, anytime recently, or, you know, any day in the past decade, you’ve seen a message on Facebook that goes something like this:

“This is the story of Aloysius Morganstern. He practiced premarital interdigitation and now has to go the rest of his life knowing he held hands before he was ready. He has a mother who loves him and a transgender father who identifies as a nubile Polynesian woman named Lilo. Aloysius’ brother, Jocephus, is in prison, serving time for mistakes made in another lifetime. They all—less poor Jocephus, bless his heart—work 37 jobs in order to make the mortgage payments on their 5,200 square foot home in Westchester and to care for their pet ferret, who was made to perform humiliating tricks by his previous owner. If you have any human kindness or one shred of decency in your heart, post this status update in honor of Aloysius’ struggle. Just for five minutes. OK, three. If you don’t, you are clearly a horrible person and you have a heart that is black as pitch and you will certainly die, friendless and insane, because you simply didn’t care about Aloysius. Poor, poor Aloysius. You JERK.”

Sound familiar?

Have you ever posted anything like this on your page?

Here’s the thing.

Posting messages like this does absolutely nothing—NOTHING—to help causes (Aloysius’ or any other). Shaming your friends into posting stuff that YOU care about by making them feel like crap does nothing to forward the causes you care about and everything to call you out as a bully. 

That’s right, A BULLY.

There are plenty of other updates that fall into this category, too. Stuff like, “Gosh, I see not many of you have donated to my charity yet. That’s OK, all that means is that lots of babies and puppies and kittens will die. Because of you. But don’t worry. We’ll muddle through. Somehow.”

JUST STOP IT.

Would you ever walk up to someone and say something like this to their face? Ever? Of course not. So why, for the love of God and all that is right and holy, would you think committing social blackmail on Facebook (or anywhere else online) was okay on any level?

Let me tell you something: IT ISN’T.

If you have something—an issue, a friend, a cause, whatever—that you care about, that’s awesome. Share that you care. Tell your story. But do yourself, and everyone else, a favor and leave the shaming and guilt and bullying out of it. Tell your story. Tell it with heart. Tell it with feeling. That will appeal to people’s heartstrings far more than being made to feel like heartless, knuckle-dragging troglodytes.

Let’s give it a try, shall we?

Now, like and share this post to your page. Just for five minutes. You know, if you have a heart.

Photo credit to RHiNO NEAL on flickr.

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