Facebook demands – “Like and share this or you are a horrible person”

You know what I am talking about right? All those photos with witty captions or tag lines that are meant to share a point of view, educate, inspire, or in many situations, pass judgement on those who don’t “like and share” it. To me it is a silly practice to demand that someone share your opinion by making a blanket statement about someone should they decide they do not in fact want to ‘like and share’ your post. I came across this example below and I have quite honestly had enough:

if you see this post and not share it to educate others on apathy then you are no different –

if you see this post and not share it to educate others on apathy then you are no different -

if you see this post and not share it to educate others on apathy then you are no different –

It is a photo of a man who appears homeless, with three girls taking a photo a few feet from him. Those that made the caption and demand to share, seem to think that if I don’t share this photo, I am just as apathetic as the girls in the picture, and that I have no desire to educate people about the plight of homelessness, or the apathy of others. I have several issues with this.

1. It is a snapshot. We don’t know the story behind it and those who posted the photo offer no insight.  Several things could have happened before or after this photo. Maybe those girls gave him some cash? Maybe, since he has his shoes off – those girls brought him some new socks? Maybe they asked if there was anything they could do for him and he declined? The point is, we don’t know the whole story. Had they posted a picture of just a homeless man and shared the picture to spread awareness and asked people to be more aware of the people around them (without passing arbitrary judgement should they decline to share)- it would have sent a better message.

2. When I go on vacation I am not trying to solve the worlds problems. Okay, say these girls are insensitive and decided to take a vacation shot right next to a guy who is down and out. I have been on vacation in several depressed areas and some of the stuff in the backgrounds of my vacation pictures maybe need some attention. However, I am not on vacation to solve those problems. I am just one person on vacation (or in this case, three girls hanging out in the city).

I love animals (often more than people) and while in Naples, Italy I noticed there are hundreds of of stray dogs. Now if I could I would adopt every single one of them, however, I am not able to do that. So when a stray would come up to me, I would give it a pet or a scrap of food and be on my way. I can’t solve the stray population problem. I am not a bad person because I am not able to do that. It isn’t that I didn’t notice, or turned a blind eye, but the solution is much more complicated than posting a picture on the Internet and insisting that everyone take up a new cause and if they don’t that they are somehow horrible people.

3. Homelessness is usually a symptom of a myriad of other issues. I am not apathetic to homelessness, but I prefer to fight it by advocating for better mental health care, and affordable rehab for those who can’t afford it, or job creation, or… do you see my point? I give change, clothing, my lunch, cigarettes or whatever I happen to have at the moment to help out someone I see on the street. Just because I didn’t share this photo, doesn’t mean that I don’t care.

You see this type of thing on Facebook all the time. “like and share  this in three seconds and you will have good luck, if you don’t you will die in a fiery crash while your family and friends all go broke. Like and share this or the world will come to an end! Like and share this if you want to end homelessness!” Let me tell you now, liking and sharing anything on Facebook will  only result in someone else seeing what you posted, it really has no other ramification and does not in fact tell you anything about the character or concerns of the people who view it. If they agree, they share, if they don’t they don’t. It’s pretty simple really.

So just say “No” when you see these demands. Nothing will happen if you don’t re-post or like it. If you agree, if it is important to you, do what you want with it. If it isn’t move on and don’t spend a second worrying about what kind of person you are, or that your inaction is going to ruin the world around you.

If you agree with me “Like and Share this blog” If you do, the result will be more traffic to my blog, if you don’t absolutely nothing bad will happen to you. 

3 thoughts on “Facebook demands – “Like and share this or you are a horrible person”

  1. Pingback: Thank You! « tolerantpeople

    • Sorry, I mean you and I both… I think a lot that goes on in FB is all about ego. Who can be the best victim. And like a good Christian, if you don’t :like” or “pass it on”, your damned to hell. I use FB to connect to old friends, Other-than-that I see too much venting for my taste, so I hang out more here on wordpress.

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