One of the many things that makes me rant is pointless fads, and the people who follow them seemingly blindfold without giving a second thought to what they actually mean.
In the last 48 hours, I have on numerous occasions been asked to change my Facebook profile picture to a cartoon. Why? This morning I was asked again, by one of my closest friends. ‘Have you changed your profile picture to a cartoon character?’ she bbm-ed. ‘No,’ I replied. ‘Why?’ Her response was ‘Do it, everyone else has. It’s for the NSPCC.’ But what was it actually going to do? After a long pause, the answer was exactly as I had expected: ‘I have no idea.’
Same friend, later in the day: ‘Change your profile picture. Do you realise you’re the only human on my Facebook chat?’
I quick tally of my ‘friends’ revealed that 197 out of 600-odd had replaced their own faces with those of lion cubs, Disney princesses, animated woodland creatures, mythical fairies, evil ogres, etc. Cute and nostalgic? Of course. Anything whatsoever to do with charity? Well...
The main question is, how many of these people are actually going to do anything of merit, after changing their identification pictures to Tigger, Cinderella, SpongeBob , et al? I would even go as far as saying that it is insulting to the NSPCC, which does such important work –because those who are urging others to change their pictures and then failing to actually meaningfully support the charity are almost giving an entirely different message than they wish:
‘Yeah, I know, child cruelty is terrible. We should STAMP IT OUT... yeah. What’s that, set up a standing order? What, money coming out of my bank account? Well, I would, but... £10 per month, seriously? That’s almost a night out, I don’t really think... I know, let’s all change our profile pictures to childhood cartoon characters instead, this perfunctory act will definitely buy an abused child safe overnight shelter! I support the NSPCC! ’
This meaningless act of changing profile pictures means nothing at all –if you actually care about the cause you’re saying you support, you WILL do something concrete about it.
Money comes out of my bank account every month for Cancer Research UK, I’ve given up my Saturdays for the Oxfam Bookshop and helped to build an orphanage in Africa and led Rainbow units for 7 years. So don’t try to pin me down as not being interested in charity, just because I’m not jumping onto your meaningless bandwagon.
Simply raising awareness means very little post James Bulger, Victoria Climbie and Peter Connolly. We all know about the horrific things that happen in this world, so instead of indulging in pointless fads, act.
Of course, those who donate money or time to the NSPCC and have changed their profile pictures to cartoon characters should feel proud of what they are doing. Everyone else, however, should be ashamed of themselves.On second thoughts, maybe I’ll change my picture to the Grinch.