Saturday, March 12, 2011


I’ve been thinking…

When I put a “status update” on Facebook, I’m all sorts of things. From pithy to profound, from silly to sanctimonious with the occasional lunch updates in between, I think I cover a pretty wide range of posting possibilities. And naturally, because of our family’s issues these last few years, I have overwhelmed the FB community with all sorts of liver disease/Tom’s health/fund-raising bits of anguished or celebratory “sharings.”

For good or for bad, that’s what I do. 

And what my friends post isn’t too different. Coolness all around. 

I just don't like to be forced to do something.

 A pattern has emerged lately that I am finding bothersome. Very well-meaning folks have taken to posting these little slices of emo-bossy “show your support” PSAs – if you will.
“I’m posting this to show my support of fill-in-the-blank-dread-disease/social-injustice. Only 3.24% of my besties will have the guts to re-post this as their status for one hour, please do this for all those that suffer from aforementioned dread-disease/social-injustice”

Now I’m as caring as the next person. But these bits drive me totally nuts. Sure, social networking technologies can be a real boon to those who have great messages to impart. I have NO problem with putting up blurbs for your cause. I have done that numerous times myself, as I think we just determined a few paragraphs earlier.

But please, oh please, don’t tell me what to do. Don’t tell me how I should show my support for one cause or another. I’d nearly prefer you ask me for money than to just use these campaigns. Seriously, it smacks of coercion, and that’s off putting. 

Yeah, and that goes for the multi-forwarded email tell me how sad it is that no one has the guts to continue a chain letter that mentions God more than once. Sorry, the chain is broken with me, every time. So, if you really want benedictions from the Dali Lama, or the Blessed Virgin Mary, or you really, really want your CD drive to magically pop open on cue, or you want to stop the ghost of some tragedy victim appearing in your bedroom at midnight – don’t put me in your address list.

Hey, some of those emails have some sweet messages, or kick-ass funny jokes! But if you add the bit about “please forward to all the strong women/smart men/caring folk you know” then you must realize the message fails with me. (Oh and how hard REALLY is it to just copy and paste the original message in a fresh email? I don’t need or want to see the trail from whence this message came. I really don’t.)

For the record, and not that it’s any of your business, but I support either financially or emotionally lots of causes. Special Olympics, Lymphoma and Leukemia, Gay rights, Diabetes, Epilepsy, MS, MD, the ALF, Scleroderma, Rachel’s Challenge, the Vets, the Blind, and Sun Santa. Don’t forget the Dracut Food Pantry, my church, PTO volunteer for 12 years, Scout volunteer for – I dunno – six years give or take. And some of my jewelry supports stuff – my breast cancer bracelet, my Organ Sharing pins, and those cute woven bracelets that support a school in – umm…a different country. Hey, I wear them proudly, I just forget why. (Which reminds me, I really should send a check to my local Alzheimer’s association).