If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen some moronic updates floating through your feed lately about people going to various countries for various periods of time even though they’re not. The conversation usually goes something like this…
Idiot: I’m going to Spain for 4 months!
Curious friend: Omg really?
Idiot: Nah it’s for breast cancer lol!
Curious friend: wat.
Idiot: You choose the country that matches your bday month and then your bday date is how long you’re going for and then you change your status
Curious friend: (deletes you from Facebook because you’re a fucking idiot)
This kind of genius has been around for a while now. It usually starts with a message people forward around to their female friends that goes something like this:
Hey ladies! It’s that time of year again when we annoy the shit out of our friends and contribute absolutely nothing towards raising awareness about breast cancer!!!
This is how it works. First, choose the number that matches your IQ:
1 – blue
2 – pink
3 – black
4 – yellow
5 – red
Next, how many people would admit to being your friend?
1 – syphilis
2 – chlamydia
3 – gonorrhea
4 – the clap
5 – herpes
Then update your Facebook status with the colour and STD that match your answers! For example, “Omg my bf’s balls are red, think I have the clap?!!”
Now remember, don’t tell any of the boys what your statuses mean because we need to maximise the awareness!!! Keep them guessing so more people learn about it. Also pass this on to everyone you know so they can raise a awareness too!!!
Ugh. Just ugh.
1. Do we really need to be raising awareness about breast cancer?
If you can show me three people over the age of 12 who are not aware of breast cancer, I will start watching Glee, because neither of those things are ever going to fucking happen.
Where are these people? How often is this conversation happening?
Judy: Excuse me sir, but I’m going to need some time off work because… well, I have breast cancer.
Boss: What’s that? Never heard of it. Should we all get tested? I really don’t understand.
We’re all aware. Breast cancer gets more publicity than Kate Middleton holding her hand over her stomach in a few photos like she’s totally pregnant. Why not try and raise awareness about something that people don’t generally know a lot about, like melanoma or how to clear your cache. Or if you still want to keep the focus on breast cancer, why not aim to raise awareness about its symptoms, detection methods, treatment options or other ways to help. Or fuck, why not just really go for it and try to raise something actually useful, LIKE MONEY?
2. How does not mentioning something raise awareness about it?
Here is the other way these status updates are often received…
Moron: I’m a champagne flute so tuck it back.
Innocent friend: What are you talking about?
Moron: I can’t tell you lol.
Innocent friend: Don’t call me anymore.
The dumb bridge club president who comes up with these brainwaves and composed the original message urges people not to disclose the reason behind their mysterious status update. Now I’m no genius, and I only just found out that reindeer are real so who am I to judge, but I do have one question: how are people supposed to know what cause you’re supporting, if you don’t fucking say it?
I really want to know how the conversation went when this was decided.
Shirley: So then we get everyone to update their status to raise lots of awareness….but it’s a secret.
Tonia: Wow, I think it’s a great idea, I mean it’s definitely got legs. But how will people know that the whole concept is about breast cancer if it’s a secret?
Shirley: Because that’s the whole purpose.
Tonia: Yes but shouldn’t we mention the cause or maybe include a link to a site with information on breast cancer, maybe even a site where people could donate money?
Shirley: Nah, nah, nah. Trust me, it’s better this way.
3. Doing lame crap like this gives people a false sense of action
Telling people that they can help raise awareness about breast cancer by posting something inane on Facebook is counter-productive, because some of those people who wanted to help might have ACTUALLY supported the cause through donating things like time/money/ideas/labour/goods/etc. But instead, they will now sit back on the couch and tune in to Oprah, satisfied in the knowledge that they’ve done their bit for breast cancer.
4. It’s really annoying
Stop it. Not only is it annoying, but you might find that it actually achieves the opposite of what you were dumb enough to think you were doing. Most of the time, when people discover that a particular brand is behind an ad or campaign that they find super irritating, they feel less sympathetic towards that brand. I’m not saying I am pro-breast cancer, but I’d probably chuck my dollars into another cancer charity that wasn’t being endlessly touted by a bunch of idiots.
Of course, having said all that, there is a silver lining. If you are keen to cull your Facebook friends, little initiatives like these will help you sort the wheat from the chaff. (Checking which of your friends have liked the Two and a Half Men page is also a good method.)