12 May, 2009

Rant: Facebook & Causes

I've just been invited to the umpteenth good cause on Facebook.

Ordinarily, these things either send me to sleep or make me see red. In this case however, I was too busy giggling. Apparently there's now a wizard of some sort to make these things. It includes a place to automagically show how much has been raised so far. Dynamic and stuff for the win.

This cause (while actually being a worthwhile cause, I might add) had gathered more than 10,000 members. 10,000 Facebook 'players' who all thought that this... this... topic... was important, and righteous, and worth getting indignantly angry over, or passionate about, or worth going forth with pitchforks and holy fire over. 10,000 people who thought they were making change by banding together with fellow-couch-potatoes who had an interest in the same issue. I won't mention the cause by name, just to protect its poor, sad little existence from suffering further embarrassment. But...

This worthwhile cause had generated $0 so far.

I believe this is a worthwhile illustration and would teach Facebook 'players' quite a lot, if only they were willing to use their brains before using their index fingers on the JOIN NOW button.

Parents, tell your children! etc. Hammering a button on a website does nothing to cure cancer. Visiting a forum won't reduce the amount of pesticides in your food. Playing the free Red Ribbon game will not earn a cent in HIV research money. Clicking on "Like!" won't make more kidneys available for transplant. Joining another Facebook cause won't stop the next kid being abused.

INTERACTION makes things happen. Start a discussion with a friend. Donate. Wear the ribbon. Buy the fridge magnet. Sponsor a kid. Send a goat.