Monday, January 11, 2010

Black? Green? Orange? I Wasn't Aware It Mattered

So unless you've been under a rock for the past week it was probably pretty impossible to miss the Great 2010 Facebook Color Status Phenomenon. And as we all know, if something gets written about on pretty much all the "news" websites, it's kind of a big deal. And that made this one hard to miss even for people not on facebook.

Ok, ummmm . . . what's the point of this? I know, it's supposed to be about breast cancer awareness and all but seriously - who reads the word "black" and thinks, "oh yeah, I should probably get a mammogram?" Sure, the people posting these status updates know what's going on, but everyone who missed the memo wasn't in a state of awareness - more like a state of confusion. Seriously, this has got to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of.

On that note, I really think the idea of *insert any random cause here* awareness is kinda dumb. Guess what - we all already know that cancer and AIDS and poverty and hunger and global warming and all this other stuff exists. People in general are already . . . how shall I put this . . . aware of these societal ills, as it were. So what exactly is the point of raising awareness? Yeah, these things need cured/solved/fixed/whatever but simply being aware of their existence isn't going to do squat. In fact, it probably does less than squat because you see all these tons and tons of events to "raise awareness" for various causes and the average person is going to think "hey, isn't that great, they're raising money for *insert cause here,* yay for them!" . . . and then they walk on by. Problem #1 - when all the average persons do that, there's not really a lot of money raised. Problem #2 - How many of these things actually raise money in addition to awareness? I'm guessing not a lot. This facebook meme sure didn't.

And you know, that kind of bugs me. Sure, I don't exactly donate a ton of time or money to charity in any form . . . but at least I also don't pat myself on the back and think about how many lives I just saved when I change my facebook status. People need to actually do something before they start congratulating themselves.

And it's not like helping is all that hard to do these days either. Dude, it's even fun! You may have noticed a couple of badges on the side of my blog. Yeah, right over there. >>>>>>>>>>
I stumbled upon those websites during my Bored-to-Tears Summer of Internet Wanderings (also known as the summer of '09). And you know what? They're pretty awesome. First you have free rice and free flour, where they ask you basic knowledge questions - what's the captial of Russia, pick the definition of this word from these four choices, that sort of thing. And for every right answer 10 grains of rice or one teaspoon of flour is donated, to be given to someone who's hungry. Sure, it doesn't sound like a lot, but if you play for even 10 minutes it can really add up fast. And over at free poverty it's an endless geography quiz kind of like that where in the world facebook app that was so popular for a while . . . only with every right answer up to ten cups of water goes to someone in need of it. And if you use the same computer every time, they'll keep track of you cumulative total. I've donated over 200,000 grains of rice and over 10,000 cups of water (the free flour site seems to still be in its beta phase - kind of clunky, glitchy, and far too few questions, so they're constantly repeated. Hence the lack of a badge on my blog or a cumulative total). How awesome is that? And it's not like I even really did anything - I played a freaking internet game! It's so easy - and think of how simple it would be to teach kids about both causes that deserve support and how even a little bit from everyone makes a difference. Seriously - start 'em young and the world will become a different place a lot faster. Not only that, but you can really learn a lot whle you're at it - and heaven knows a lot of people, especially in this country, could do with picking up a little more geographic knowledge or an expanded vocabulary. (Is it pompous of me to say I get a little bored on free rice sometimes because I get a long string of words I already know?) Why, oh why are these sites not as well-known as facebook and twitter?! This is the sort of thing the internet should be used for - not telling everyone what you had for dinner in 140 characters or less, and not telling everyone what color your bra is. Because the fact that you're wearing a lacey black polka dot vintage bra? Soooooo not gonna do anything to help cure breast cancer, honey. Sorry to disappoint you . . . not.

(edit: so I just checked out this post in relation to everything on my sidebar, and can I just say I'm immensely proud of where those arrows ended up in relation to the badges? Woot.)

P. ost S. cript
Okay, so this has absolutely nothing to do with anything . . . but it's been making me laugh for ages. The fact that it involves to of my most favoritest shows ever probably has something to do with that. :-)

1 comment:

  1. Not only did the posts do nothing to raise cancer awareness, it also made a lot of males uncomfortable.

    And that prank? It one of my favorites and also one of my favorite shows.