The killing of Trayvon Martin three years ago, an act of dubious legal and moral validity, sparked a movement that sought to identify and protest race-based injustices. That spark roared to a flame in Ferguson, amidst allegations of murder at the hands of local police. The fire burned on through similarly controversial police actions involving minorities in New York, Cleveland and Baltimore.
Voices raised against the stain of racism from every angle; from the #BlackLivesMatter movement to columnists and essayists across news media to millions of individuals around the country using their social media accounts to advocate change.
They were legion, and they were right.
For weeks, the controversial killing of Michael Brown and subsequent refusal of a grand jury to bring the white police officer who killed him to trial was at the forefront of American consciousness. Folks in Ferguson reacted passionately and loudly, the figurative and literal flames of civil unrest burning for days; similar but more restrained demonstrations fanned out across the country.
Those far removed from the urban centers where the protested injustices take place took to social media to passionately change their Facebook avatars and adamantly share text-based images about freedom or equality or something else tangentially related to the details of what took place in Ferguson that night.
In case you missed it, we posted the first set of Facebook atrocities earlier this year. You might want to start there. Or do these first. It’s not like there’s a plot to follow.
1) Using a Photo of Your Child as Your Profile Picture
Yeah, so, I didn’t ask to become friends with your 4-year old. I’m sure he’s a great guy and everything, probably a wonderful conversationalist, but I was actually more interested in keeping in touch with you. Kind of like, you know, the reason for being on Facebook to begin with.
“But he’s such a big part of my life! It represents me!”
Yeah, well, I watch a lot of porn, but you don’t see me using Sasha Grey as my profile picture.
Ideally, we want to see what you look like; you should know that 90% of the reason Facebook exists is to see how hot or ugly our former classmates and ex-girlfriends and boyfriends have become. Do your part. If you want to throw your kid in there as an accessory, fine. Want to have the occasional graphic or logo to celebrate or protest something? Go nuts. But we don’t need pictures of someone else. Continue reading Shit That Needs to Stop : Facebook II
So, have you done it yet?
Have you accepted someone’s challenge, propped up your camera, and dumped ice water over your head?
I haven’t, and I won’t. The whole thing feels a bit too much like slacktivism, and I’m already on record about being wary of anything that claims to “raise awareness.” Too often, the true goal of such things is to raise your friends’ awareness of your altruism; maybe, by chance, some enlightenment comes along for a ride from time to time.