Monday, January 28, 2013

Why I Won't Repost

You know what I'm talking about--those posts that go something like this: If you really cared, and I know most of you don't, you will repost this message....

I see those things and my automatic response is, "Whatever you do, don't repost that message." Why? Here are a few reasons.

1. It's emotional blackmail. "If you don't repost this, the whole world will know what an uncaring, selfish creep you are."

2. It's self-righteous. "I posted. I thank you, God, that I am not like all those other sinners..."

3. It's negative. There is a need out there, or information to be passed on. The first part of the message is usually positive. But then the positive message gets put in a self-destructive vehicle to carry it.

4. It's deceptive. It actually makes the post-er think they have done something caring, when in fact very little that is useful has been accomplished. If anything, they have spread ill will with the negativity more than any positive effect of passing along the message.

5. It creates passivity. This is closely linked to the deceptiveness. "All I need to do is repost this, then I have done what is necessary."

Now here's a suggestion. Every time you see one of those obnoxious posts, decide to do something positive instead. It hardly matters what. A prayer. A handwritten note. A kind word. A thoughtful deed. We need a lot more of those responses than we need people on a list. And that is why I won't repost.

End of rant.


Kate said...

Yes!! A thousand times over.

And your last two points are particularly well taken. "Facebook activism" isn't activism at all. 'Awareness' is completely useless without positive action - mostly it allows us to think of ourselves as good, caring people regardless of whether we treat those around us with kindness and compassion or reach outside our comfort zones at all to make a difference to someone.

L. H. Lynch said...

I whole-heartily agree. I am often surprised by who I see re-posting messages on Facebook and elsewhere, and it never fails to leave a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

Lisa said...

Thank you, Kate. I'm beginning to respect the adage, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" more as I get older. Opportunities to do real good are everywhere. So are missed chances. Those posts are worthless compared to "random kindness and senseless acts of beauty" (to borrow a popular bumper sticker from a few years back). Instead of standing up to be counted, we should quietly and humbly go about doing charitable acts for the love of God and not worry about whether it is noticed by anyone but Him.