Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sensitive. Killjoy. Me.

Last week's only highlight was child abuse campaign on Facebook. It annoyed the fuck out of me. I mean I really didn’t get the point of changing display pictures as a means of protest and awareness. As my personal protest I updated my status in hopes of finding some people out of a 1000 on my list who'd agree. And I think I found far many than I expected. But then there were those who just liked it because of the heated debate on it. 

"78 people have changed their profile pictures" 

I had no clue what was going on but then I remembered my sister telling me about some child abuse campaign thing till Monday. Till status updates its fine, but pictures? That is just absurd. I’m not against protesting or creating awareness. But all I am against, is how every digi-activism campaign eventually turns into a mockery of the cause. 

Child abuse is not something you can play on Facebook with. I have friends who have been victims and this issue has always been close to my heart. And by changing my picture I feel that I would be disrespecting them.

Do you actually think that a cartoon character will bring smiles to children who have been abused? It’s like saying that 'Oh you got your tooth pulled out ‘cause of cavities? Here, watch me have candy.'

I have been disagreed with and called sensitive for the past whole week because of the fact that I am not changing my picture and my protest is my status. And it kills me to see how easy it is for people to just say that it’s just "harmless" awareness. Just because something is harmless does not mean it’s useful. And if its not helping anyone then why the fuck are you doing it?

The idea behind my ranting is not to show disrespect towards those who actually care for the cause. It is just to tell them that there are better ways of showing support. Wearing a ribbon is symbolic, as my teacher says. But what is this a symbol for?

Changing your picture isn’t a symbol. What it just does is punch the kids, who've already been through a bad childhood, in the face and say here this is something you never got to enjoy because you were being beaten up etc. Why can’t we be a little more civil and show a tad bit of respect?

How many people do you personally know who thanked you for the changing your picture? 

Our social responsibility goes beyond digi-activism. Although, this is the only morality we have left because we are scared of good old marching out on the streets and protesting. And I know we can’t get out on the streets and bring about overnight revolutions now as our predecessors could but we can still do our bit that is not on Facebook. I understand that it takes lots of people, lots of time and money and most of all lots of influence to actually do some sort of substantial work for causes like these.

Sitting at home in front of a computer screen and changing pictures can't really be awareness. My homepage is flooded with likes and comments which really aren't serving a 'cause'. Everyone is saying to me that the idea is to stir up a thought which eventually can be turned into a planned, organized protest or a cause.

Stirring up some awareness is alright, just till the point where people know the cause of the cause they are supporting. I have people on my homepage really having no clue but just following suit because 'oh that girl got so many comments on her picture, I’ll find a better looking Cinderella picture'. That's all I am against. 

I want people to say WTF a million times. But I want that call of what the fuck to be the ultimate eye opener that leads them to begin that planning that is needed. This is wtf shouldn’t be the same as a bra color status update would bring.

May be the person who initiated this did it for a whole different reason which may not be the same as what it became. I applaud the person for the efforts. But dude, sadly, your efforts just initiated flooding of homepages with cartoon characters – which btw weren’t even from the same era as the kids themselves (I don’t remember watching Betty Boop and Spongebob while growing up and I’m 18) – and Facebook to earn a couple million more that its usual in an hour with all the hits that people got on their pictures.

If you really support the cause, don’t change your picture back to old ones or for some, to hotter newer ones for a while. Why does your contribution have to be for 2 days? Have you ended child abuse in those two days? Kids who are still sewing footballs in Sialkot haven’t been helped. Kids in Afghanistan who are forced to be militants are still learning how to fire Kalashnikovs. The sex trade all over the world didn’t even stop for a single second. Those kids you are supporting don’t even know that youre supporting them. So whether you change your picture or tell the world where you like it- my purse that is- you are just mocking what some people may stand for by pretending to support it.

And if you really want to help and you cant trust the charities that claim to help then give it to UNICEF. Im sure we have faith in them because those “foreigners” will help.

But I think we’re able to help ourselves and those around us without the support from cartoon characters.

I really need people to understand my (non)participation.

My participation is to tell the idiots out there, who have no clue what they are supporting, that your efforts are not appreciated. And to tell the girls out there, seductive pictures of Betty, Veronica and other damsels will really just show the world your actual cause, which may just be to get people to like and comment on their pictures.

If you can’t do justice to a cause don’t support it. And if my non-participation will even cause 10 people to remember this day next year, I have succeeded in playing my part as a member of humanity. Because now, next year, same day, there will be 10 less people changing pictures to show support. Maybe those 10 people will make a 100 people realize that their contribution can be better and more supportive than a picture change.

I really hope that next campaign is a a lot more than just status updates and picture changing.


  1. You need to write an article for a news paper, you write well.

  2. Haha, thankyou so much. Only if they pay me well I'll think about writing for others