Here’s how I’m playing my part to find a cure

Posted: December 15, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I saw this twice in my newsfeed on Facebook today:

♥-♥♥—-Put this —♥♥—♥♥—On Your —♥♥—♥♥—status —♥♥—♥♥—іf уоυ кnоω —-♥♥-♥♥—-ѕомεоnε —–♥♥♥—–ωно нαѕ or —-♥♥-♥♥—-нαѕ нαd —♥♥—♥♥—Cancer♥ I wish for the cure of cancer. 93% won’t copy and paste this…will YOU?????

No.  No I won’t.  Absolutely, positively never will that be my Facebook status.  Why?  Because it’s all wrong.  I want a cure for cancer too.  Pasting that into my status does absolutely nothing.  How does it raise money?  How does it encourage people to get checked for prostate cancer or breast cancer?  How does it encourage awareness, story telling or healing?

It doesn’t.  It’s a spammy chain letter that’s now made it’s way onto Facebook.  And it’s the worst way you can possibly use it.  And what’s with the guilt trip?  “93% won’t copy and paste this…” Of course they won’t.  There are better things to do with our status updates!  It’s almost as bad as campaigns spamming Twitter with hashtags.. but at least they were raising some money while spamming the rest of us.

I get that you want to make a difference.  I get that you want to feel like you’re doing something… except copying and posting that into your status isn’t actually doing ANYTHING.

Here’s what I’m doing instead.  I have 363 connections currently on Facebook.  My status as of a few minutes ago is the following:

Here is my cancer awareness post: Facebook says I have 363 connections. For each of those connections that shares a memory of someone in their lives touched by cancer by commenting on this status or leaving a note on my wall between now and December 31, I will donate $2 to the Canadian Cancer Institute (I wish I could do more… but it’s a start)..

And those that are contributing are sharing their stories.  Through sharing our stories, we unite more towards a cause and we feel GOOD about it.

Note:  It’s the people who share their stories on my Facebook wall or post that I’ll contribute the $2 for.  When I’m rich enough to be able to make it limitless… well then I surely will.

Story telling.  Sharing.  Engaging. Encouraging.  Making our lives better because of the interactions we’ve had with one another.  That’s at the core the successful use of social media.  Not spammy.  Not leaving people guilt ridden into sharing something that isn’t of use to anyone else.

I get that you want to make a difference.  But think about your networks, and think about what will make an impact… versus what people are just going to ignore.

Comments
  1. Tze says:

    That’s awesome Wendy. Kudos to you. You are a true inspiration!

  2. Angela says:

    Great post, Wendy.

    I feel the same way about the green avatars that hit Twitter during the Iran elections.

    What did anyone changing his avatar to green really do for awareness of the political unrest in Iran?

    Nothing.

    Has anyone really and truly done anything to effect change in Iran?

    Not likely.

    Has anything changed because a few thousand people tinted their avatar for a few weeks?

    No.

    This is a great post because it challenges people to think of ways they can change the world. It isn’t enough to simply sit on our duffs, write a few pretty words and post it to our Facebook page.

    When I get home later and I can access Facebook, I will write a story on your wall.

    And then, when you’ve tallied the amount you will donate, based on the number of stories shared, I will match it.

  3. Mike says:

    Great Idea, even if you will have to eat KD for an entire month ;)

  4. John Tyler says:

    This is impressive Wendy!!!

    A true leader- you certainly know how to bring people together and make a difference!! We need more people like you in the world :)

  5. Richard Bulmer says:

    Wendy :
    I kinda understand what your saying, But the You did post

    (Put this —♥♥—♥♥—On Your —♥♥—♥♥—status —♥♥—♥♥—іf уоυ кnоω —-♥♥-♥♥—-ѕомεоnε —–♥♥♥—–ωно нαѕ or —-♥♥-♥♥—-нαѕ нαd —♥♥—♥♥—Cancer♥ I wish for the cure of cancer. 93% won’t copy and paste this…will YOU???)

    on your blog, Thank You and yes I do know a cancer survivor My Girlfriend and she has a story that would even make the most hard hearted person tear up, you can read it on my Blog. rich0226.wordpress.com

    God Bless
    Rich

  6. Wendy Peters says:

    Richard – That’s a good point, I did post that… but on my blog, in the context of encouraging others to do more than just post that on their status. Could I have demonstrated my point in a better way without pasting it in the post?

    I attempted to find her story below your post on your blog about it… but it doesn’t seem to available. I’m elated to hear that your girlfriend is a cancer survivor. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. Alucard says:

    Wendy,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! An inspiration. I have done the same on my FB wall, and hope that others will as well.

  8. anon says:

    What a helpful, generous thing to do. And you hit the nail on the head re: how I feel about these status updates. They are useless and smug. Good for you for making a constructive difference.

  9. [...] already happening on line?  I’d like an easy way to pull up the stories that came out of my Facebook status experiment for cancer.  I received about 40 stories on the comment thread about people within my network that had been [...]

  10. [...] I’m guestimating here, but I think it’s been about three and a half years since I joined.  Facebook has become part of my own communications mix for keeping in touch with friends and family.  Through Facebook I plan and attend events with friends and family, share blog posts and other interesting or funny links, post music and photos of my own, even fundraise for cancer using my status. [...]

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