Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Facebook Part II: Facebook can't cure cancer


Well, you all loved my first sarcasm-laden Facebook stupidity post from a few months back, "5 things Facebookers do that drive me bonkers", so I figured, hey, why not do another one? Again, this is meant in jest and not meant to put anyone down, or make light of cancer (my father-in-law died of cancer just short of a year ago, so I'm not some heartless person when it comes to cancer), but merely to point out the ridiculousness of yet one more thing Facebookers do.

So without further adieu, an entire blog post dedicated to the ridonculous "post your bra color/where you leave your purse/shoe size/birth day and month code to look like you're preggers" thing.

Okay, I'll give you that the first year it did gain some media buzz. Cool, I guess. Mission accomplished, or something. But now, in its 3rd (maybe 4th, I don't know because I lost count) installment. Come oooonnn! Just let it go already!

How ridiculous is it? Let me count the ways. ;)

1. The men know what we're doing because honestly, believe it or not, they actually are smarter than Patrick Star. (Or at least all the men on my friend's list are.) Heck, I caught on to it before I even got this year's message about it (in abundance) in my inbox! I caught it on the first dang one that popped up on my feed, for that matter!

2. While its nice to spread awareness of worthy causes - and breast cancer is definitely one of them - I fail to see any connection between where I leave my purse and breast cancer. Maaaaaybe with the bra color thing, but the rest of 'em? Not so much. Its not like when I look at my shoes my first thought is, "Man, I am so glad I posted that thing on Facebook about my shoe size for breast cancer awareness. I am going to go check for lumps right now. Thanks for making me 'aware' Facebook!" Actually I don't think that has ever happened to me. And if it ever does, I'll be completely shocked.

3. I can only speak for myself, but once something is overdone, I lose interest. And then if the issue is pushed even further, I just get annoyed. The first year it was cute, the second it was "meh," and this year, its got me thinking, "Alright already!" At the point you start bugging people with your cause, then your cause becomes merely background noise. Really annoying background noise that makes people want to tune you out. Its so much of a game now that people don't even see it as anything worthwhile anymore. Its more like, "Tee hee hee....I'm gonna play a joke on people, especially dumb boys, because, like, its funny, and um, the words 'breast cancer awareness' were included in the email, so like, I'd better do it right now because, um, somewhere somebody's boobies are depending on me to post this."

4. This is where I am going to get a little more serious for a minute, and may be the one that gets me in trouble, but I have to say it anyway. Breast cancer isn't the only cause out there worthy of exposure. The causes I am most passionate about aren't ever even brought up: mental health/depression awareness, pregnancy and infant loss/March of Dimes/prematurity, colon cancer (what my FIL died of), ovarian/uterine cancer (what my grandmother died of), Autism, ADD/ADHD.... These are all things I see little to nothing about on Facebook, with the exception of occasional posts by one or two of my friends, and heartbreakingly, they are usually posts that people seem to skim over. (Or at least that's the way it seems, due to the low volume of comments and "likes" they get, especially in comparison to breast cancer-related postings.) Somehow, its become the "cool" thing to do to show breast cancer support. Everyone jumps all over that bandwagon. However, other conditions/issues that are just as important to bring attention to (depression, for example, affects 1 in 5 Americans) get nothing more than a passing glance. I can almost guarantee that if someone started a "show support" game thing-a-ma-jigger about depression, it wouldn't go viral. Breast cancer awareness has squashed out exposure to just about everything else because nothing else is "cool" enough to get a silly game made up for it. Again, I'm not saying it isn't worthy of the exposure, I'm only saying that other things deserve a chance too. But no, we're too busy playing the game to pay attention to posts about anything else.

5. Don't kid yourself, your Facebook status can't cure cancer. Sure, its fun. Sure, I guess, it maybe-sorta-kinda makes people think about breast cancer research, which is good if it does. But if you really want to make a difference and actually do something that will make a difference, then instead of wasting your time posting a goofy status, hit the log-out button and go participate in a Race for the Cure or Relay for Life. Donate to the Susan G. Komen Foundation or one many other non-profits that are contributing to research to find a cure for breast cancer. Call your doctor and make your appointment on time for your annual breast exam. If you want to help cure cancer, go actually do something to help yourself and others! A button click ain't gonna cut it, folks. Facebook statuses profit breast cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones nothing.

So after all that, maybe I am just one big fun-killer on a crusade. I don't know. I just think its absurd and pointless. Any effect it may have once had is gone, and now its just annoying and unbeneficial. I'll say it one last time: Facebook can't cure cancer. Its social networking, people, not a mammogram.

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