How about we call out Facebook memes for what they are? Chain letters on steroids.
No, you may not put a social media gun to my head and hijack my Facebook profile with the threat that if I don’t comply, I’ll be labeled an apostate who hates the military, doesn’t care about life-threatening illnesses, and coddles murderers and child abusers.
I supported the military by being a faithful, supportive military wife for the duration of my husband’s tour of duty.
I show concern and support by contributing actual money to impoverished/exploited kids and cancer research.
I show my support for Jesus by earnestly striving to understand and apply the Bible and attempting to love my neighbors.
I don’t say this to pat myself on the back–there’s always more I could do, and probably should do–I say it to illustrate a point.
Can Facebook be a powerful tool for social change? Maybe. If there is anyone out there who ought to believe in the power of social media to effect social change, it’s me. My work is sort of contingent on it.
Heck, I work with a few non-profit organizations who are trying to use the tools of social media, including Facebook, to raise donations, recruit volunteers, and promote their causes.
But a meme whose only call to action is to get people to change their status isn’t going to do much of anything.
Brutal honesty time, friends. Changing your Facebook status is not activism. It’s a way to pat yourself on the back for doing almost nothing. And the real danger in that is the temptation to do nothing more than that.
There’s too much actual work that needs to be done to see this world transformed into something better, to waste time patting ourselves on the back for copying and pasting a Facebook status.
To quote Pastor Jon of the Levite Chronicles–it’s the difference between being a Fan and a Disciple.
The problems we face need disciples. Not fans.