Saturday, 4 December 2010

Facebook... hummm

Yet another Awareness Status has hit Facebook today:

"Change your facebook profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same, for the NSPCC. Until Monday (December 6th), there should be no human faces on facebook, but an invasion of memories. This is a campaign to stop violence against children".

or, variation on the theme:

"Change your profile pic to a cartoon from your childhood. the Goal?...not to see a human face on FB until Monday Dec 6 and be surrounded by only your best childhood memories. Show your support in the fight against Child Abuse and copy and paste to your status. Invite your friends the same!"


Most people know about the NSPCC (for non-Brits, that is National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) and are aware that violence against children exists, and yes 99.9% of the population are in support of stopping it.

What I fail to understand is what doing this on Facebook is going to achieve, it's not as though anyone is suggesting supporting the NSPCC with funds to carry on their good work.

On two of my friends' pages I asked "How is this going to help prevent violence against children?"

One reply was : "Who knows? but good excuse to relive our childhood!", another was "harmless fun :). Now go pop one of those 'happy pills' and smile :)"

So why not just say "Let's all change our profile pictures to a childhood cartoon for a bit of fun", instead of wrapping it up with some altruistic motive.   

What is the psychology behind the fact that 90% of my friends who are regularly on Facebook have changed their profile pic to a cartoon, with or without the text?

1) Do they really believe that it is going to have an effect on - well anything really?  other than making themselves feel good. Personally all it made me think of was cartoons.

2) Do they think that if they don't follow the herd people will think they are a bad person?  

3) Do they just automatically copy/paste without even thinking about it?   Are those who did the picture without the text being more honest... but what.was.the.point.?

Probably a mixture of the above.

I have just posted my status as "Juniper thinks people would help more by going to"

No doubt somebody will tell me I need to develop a sense of humour.


  1. Yeah I don't see how that is going to help stop child cruelty. That's why I didn't change it.

  2. I personally like the suggestion and the link you provided.

    If Facebook has some sort of deal and they're doing the donating---great.
    If not......

  3. I'm totally with you. Every day seems to bring on another ridiculous Facebook trend. Change your profile pic, follow this link, watch this video, blah, blah, blah. It results in a false sense of generosity, a belief that doing something mundane on a social media website can actually change the world.

    Nope, I don't buy it. And Facebook's the social media equivalent of the devil. But that's a story for another day :)

  4. Oh right on Jenny! I totally agree and I'm going to post something to that effect too! Some of the girls at work were trying to explain to the boss how to do the change. Really? Yes really. Do you remember when all the females were to put the color of our bra by our drove the male population on FB nuts! What were we doing? Then the other day it was post the drink that matches your relationship status. What?! Is this a secret 007 Bond thing or is someone sitting back just laughing that we jump to their command. I hadn't planned on responding at all, but now thanks to your genius idea, I'm headed to FB for a second! Thank you Jenny!

  5. Almost forgot, I just love the man's face in the book! So cool!

  6. Karen, I didn't do any of the bra, underwear, whatever statuses (what were they 'in aid of' again...?). I just thought "What the f....? No, I won't!"

    My lovely sister-in-law died of cancer in January, aged 45. A few months later there was one of those cancer awareness statuses saying 'will you post this on your status for an hour?', but I thought, what will that prove? The people that matter know exactly how I feel about cancer.

  7. Haven't got that one from my cousin yet, Him and his partner are of the copy and paste crowd. Me I can't spare much money wise but all the old baby clothes, books and toys go to charity shops and spare change goes in collection boxes not much but I think it serves more purpose than changinging my facebook status.

  8. Chibi, I'm with you on that. Our spare clothes etc. go to the charity shops, and on occasion I'll buy cards etc. through charities. Even small things like that are more use than a facebook status.

  9. I totally thought the same thing. Like, who is getting a message there? The people who harm children? They might see a bunch of cartoons and think, "Right then. I probably shouldn't be such a violent maniac." I refuse to participate and seriously had to force myself not to change my status to something making fun of those requests. I don't mean to be a jerk, but it's almost offensive. Cartoons. Could you trivialize child abuse more?

  10. J: just wanted u to know another site I am on was pushing for the same thing... I think the bottom line is that its pure awareness.. whoever came up w/the cartoon profile pic probably simplified it for those who would probably just gloss over the written info... Kinda like how schools have fundraisers because they can't ask for monetary donations...

  11. Yes Jenny you were right about the bra thing being for cancer, so sorry about your sister-in-law, I too lost my beloved Mother to cancer. I did post on FB using the website and at least by doing that everyone will know exactly what their posting of cartoon pixs are for. Sadly when they were first discussing it at work, nobody even knew the why just to do it.....

  12. I agree with you completely. It's one thing to say "I support such-and-such" but it only means something if you DO something about it.

  13. And this is why I avoid Facebook completely, I just wish my 2 daughters would as well.


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