Oh goody. Looking at my Facebook feed, I can see it’s emotional blackmail posting season again. You know the sort of posts I mean. “If you know someone who’s been eaten by dragons, please display this status in your feed”, “only 3.57% of people will repost this, but I think I know which of my friends will”, blah, blah, blah.
Okay, here’s the deal. Don’t ask me to “prove” what a great friend I am by cutting and pasting the thing that you cut and pasted from someone who emotionally blackmailed you into posting to show the world what a great person you are. It’s insulting. It implies that I need to court your approval in order to be a good friend. It’s insidious, using carefully chosen language to imply that the poster has already judged you for something you may or may not do. It’s emotionally manipulative, and while I’m sure that most people who post these things don’t consider it as such, it’s vile.
Most of my friends know that I don’t need their approval to feel like a good friend, nor do I need to advertise my good deeds. Should I feel the need, I’ll tell everyone what a great and virtuous person I am in my own time. If I don’t, that’s none of your business – feel free to assume I’m a selfish git who does nothing at all to help anyone; that’s your prerogative.
Posting these idiotic memes does nothing except signal your “virtue” to the world, and perhaps salve the consciences of those who – through unfortunate circumstance – are unable rather than unwilling to do much themselves.
You want to do something positive? You want to raise awareness? Run a marathon, raise some money, do a sponsored car wash, do something real instead of pretending to care on Facebook.
Possibly the only things I think that are worse are all those text images of sad kittens or broken hearts going on about how no-one reads their posts but only “true” friends will respond. Maybe, if they weren’t so needy, people might respond a little more? Food for thought.
Of course, when I posted this on Facebook, I was inundated with requests from people asking me if they could cut and paste it on to their feeds…