It’s an almost every day occurrence. And almost every day I feel myself getting more irritated and twitchy by these social shaming shares.
You know what I’m talking about! I’m referencing the Copy/Paste poseurs, those on a mission to show that they care more about a disease or other worthy cause, because they’ve taken the 10 seconds to copy and paste a post to their wall.
Why Am I Saying These Copy/Paste Shares Are Social Shaming?
Isn’t social shaming what happens when a group of social media users rally to tell a company or brand that they don’t like an activity or idea shared by brand management or ownership. Yes, that’s one form of using public shame across social media platforms.
But it’s not the only example of shaming those we follow, those with whom we interact on social media.
It’s become an insidious practice, something we do without thinking of the ramifications.
This is actually the post that tipped the scales for me and bumped this topic to the top of my “get it written” queue:
With a heavy heart today especially…Nothing is more painful than watching someone at the end of their life because of cancer. Trying to look good, but after chemo and radiation … you know the person is physically changed and they’re in shock!! I know many of you do not give a hoot about this message because, of course, the cancer has not touched you. You do not know what it’s like to have fought the fight or had a loved one who leads a battle against cancer. For all the men and women I know, I ask you a small favor and only some of you will do it… If you know someone who has led a battle against cancer, still struggling or who passed, please add this to your status for one hour as a mark of respect and remembrance …
Copy and paste to support victims and families affected by cancer. From your phone or tablet, hold your finger on the message to copy and paste on your page. Please no tagging or sharing.
Cancer absolutely sucks. I’ve watched my mother battle it, and eventually lose her life to complications brought on by cancer treatment. I’ve watched my dad rally and come back strong after two cancer surgeries. I’ve watched a good friend face almost insurmountable odds as her young husband has battled cancer for years.
I care. I give one helluva big hoot, but I’m not going to copy/paste your pathetic message! One hour on my wall, with no call to action to donate and/or get out and support the cause, does little to NOTHING for that cause!
When I Care About A Cause, I Take Real Action … With My Money And/Or My Time!
The act of copying and pasting a post on your wall does very little to actually benefit any cause or individual. Stipulating no hashtags, tags or sharing means it’s more about you than the cause. You want to look like a crusader, a champion of the cause against cancer, child hunger, gun violence, the list goes on and on.
Actions Speak A Lot Louder Than Copied/Pasted Words!
My sister and her family ring the bell for the Salvation Army every Christmas season, at least once, often twice. They bundle up brave the cold and the indifference, singing songs and supporting a cause they believe in. The share images and call on friends and family to come out and see them while they sing and ring the bell, but they never use social shaming tactics.
My brother-in-law continues to put on a charity golf event each year, which also benefits the Salvation Army. Both money and gifts are collected at this event, with the chosen charity actually receiving the money and gifts.
My husband straight-up stinks at golf. But he’s played year after year, paying the entry fee, because it benefits a good cause. This year a tennis tournament has been added and I’ll be out there swinging my racquet in the cold. Yes, you’re right, I love tennis. But my wallet will be opened and my joy at playing will also benefit with dollars delivered for programs and initiatives.
Put Your Money, Your Time, Your Effort Behind A Cause, Not Your Facebook Wall!
If you truly care about cancer, and I believe many of you do, open up your wallet and donate to cancer research. Get your butt up from your desk chair and take part in a run, walk or other event sponsored by the charity of your choice. Visit the pediatric oncology ward with the gift of books and your time. Sit down and read one of those books to a child, or group of children, battling cancer.
At the very least, if you can’t get away from your desk, pull out your credit card and create a monthly withdrawal if the cause is that important to you.
Your Cause Isn’t Any Better Than My Cause!
Last year I donated time, dollars and effort to a cause that matters to me, as I’ve seen it affect so many friends. I was part of a small group that launched a charity pro-am event to benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Atlanta.
I donated a website, Facebook and Twitter design and management, and spent hours at planning meetings. I donated out of pocket as needed to help get the event off the ground. I played in the event, and payed the full fee, even though I was a board member. Overall it was a sizable donation of both dollars and my time and effort. It felt quite good.
But, it doesn’t mean I don’t care about cancer. It doesn’t mean I diss those looking to deliver awareness about those suffering from diabetes or Alzheimers. It doesn’t stop me from worrying about the stray cat problem in my neighborhood (any of you that know me at all know that animal adoption is another cause I back with my dollars and my time and even room in my house … hello, Catt Damon).
Perhaps my dollars are already allocated. Perhaps my time is already taken up by activities that actually benefit my cause of choice.
Make It About The Cause, Not About You …
When I see these social shaming posts making the rounds, I cringe and often want to holler at my computer screen.
These posts are nothing more than a means to share a “look at me, see how much I care about this cause” moment, a moment which is soon forgotten amidst a fast social feed and friends leading busy lives.
Want to really make a difference to a cause this year? When someone asks what you want for Christmas, ask them to make a donation in your name? See if there’s a toy drive in your local area and drop off a couple of toys to help make a child’s Christmas a little brighter. Crochet or knit a scarf, hat and some mittens and leave them on a bench or tree, with a note that they’re free for the taking for someone who needs them.
I’m calling on your to care and act, rather than copy/paste during this season of giving and sharing. Set social shaming aside and do something that truly benefits the cause in which you believe!