• Mon, Dec 6 2010

Stop Changing Your Profile Picture, Here Are Some Actual Anti-Abuse Organizations

Well. You changed your Facebook profile picture to Aladdin. Huh. Okay.

Just so you know: you did not stop a child from being abused by inspiring a comment thread about Jafar’s facial hair.

Periodically these Facebook things crop up where you’re supposed to “raise awareness” about really bizarre causes no one has ever heard of before by doing things like changing your profile picture. That’s fine, because, awareness is important if people aren’t aware of things. Like Raynaud’s Disease, that’s a good example. Or Fatal Familial Insomnia. Wow, we really need more funding for gene therapy research (real talk. I actually mean that. I’m using this as my gene-therapy-is-going-to-cure-Alzheimer’s shout-out). Remember that meme where we all changed out profile pictures to New Yorker cartoons to support gene therapy research so people didn’t lapse into insomnia induced comas and die? That rocked!

Wait, no that’s not right. Those Facebook things are NEVER for things like FFI. They’re always for things people are incredibly aware of like “breast cancer” or “child abuse.” This one – the one where we all put cartoons in our profile pictures – is for child abuse. I guess if we all change our picture to kiddie icons, that will stop children from being abused.

Wait a second…

Sometimes, at TheGloss, we spit in your face and try to mow these memes down with a machine gun by pointing out that they’re cutesy to the point of demeaning, and periodically, we’re just like “huh. Here are some charities. You care? Donate or volunteer.” It’s probably because we’re getting soft. So. Huh. Here are some charities:

Child Abusion Prevention Association

Child Abuse Prevention Network

American Legion Child Welfare Foundation

Prevent Child Abuse America

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  • Meg

    Thank You!

  • eEv

    Thank you seconded! “Awareness” is such a bunch of bullshit, unless, as you pointed out, it’s for something people have never actually heard about. It’s just an excuse for people to feel good about themselves when they haven’t actually done anything.

  • CurlySarah29

    THANK YOU!!! I posted a similar fb status this weekend… DO something, people; posting your bra color, your favorite cartoon character, etc is not helping anything. People are already aware of these issues. Volunteer or donate…

  • arallyn

    So effin’ true!

    The only stuff that “raises awareness” that I would even dream of supporting are things like the Relay For Life that actually DO something in addition to “raising awareness”.

    I love the term that Snopes uses for crap things like this: Slacktivism. Feel good without doing jack all!

    Also: FFI is terrifying. Studied it extensively. Prion diseases are terrifying, too. We should have a facebook campaign to raise awareness of Kuru! Not that the people who get Kuru would see the message, but at least it’s an interesting disease to look up!

    • Jennifer Wright

      Wait a second, isn’t Kuru transmitted via cannibalism? Is that true? If so, I think we should post a picture of the best thing we ate this week.

  • Candi

    If I may: these things *do* raise awareness–I would have never even thought about the NSPCC or to donate to them until I had someone explain to me why I was looking at a News Feed full of cartoon characters. If you’re just going with it because “LOL OMG I’m so on trend” then yeah, slactivism. But if you really want to spread the word, it’s a good thing (as well as posting a link to the charity several times so it stays in the current-ness of the Feed)

  • K

    it looks like changing profile pictures did bring an awareness; an awareness of organizations. Good article.