Secrets Don’t Make AwarenessPosted: September 4, 2011
By now, so many people have made their initial feelings about the Facebook breast cancer ‘awareness’ meme clear, whether they be shock, anger, disgust, distaste, indifference, or support. This first wave of outcry is turning more and more from proactive discussion into nitpicking comment wars. Lucky for me, I haven’t had any negative comments (yet), for which I am thankful. I know I have a new blog with few readers, but I do have a voice for my opinion, just like everyone else.
A few specifics bother me about the comments criticizing those of us who are unhappy with this meme. If anyone could explain how my thinking is wrong on these items I’d greatly appreciate it.
Secrets don’t raise awareness
I just don’t get how the big mystery is supposed to raise awareness. One of the points in the message is ‘keep em guessing.’ How, exactly, is that supposed to help anything? Wouldn’t it be simpler, easier, and more effective to ask people to post this link, or maybe this link?
It raises money for breast cancer.
No, it doesn’t. There’s not even any information given for someone to donate to. Don’t even start with the ‘Facebook is donating for every status like this.’
It’s supposed to be fun.
Breast cancer isn’t fun. Cancer isn’t fun. Infertility isn’t fun. Being made a fool of isn’t fun. I would much rather have my mother, or sister, or daughter, or father, or brother, or husband around for another few years because they understood the importance of early detection, which is knowledge they sure didn’t get from hearing about your craving.
So I’m not allowed to post about my pregnancy because it might ‘offend’ someone?
This is not about pregnancy at all. This is about fake pregnancy. This is about deception. This is about attention-seeking. This is about lying to your friends and family. Not cool.
Lighten up, it’s not about you.
Actually, it is. Fighting infertility can consume someone’s entire life. The most innocent thing can ruin an entire day. This may not be deliberately malicious, but it’s not innocent. And it’s not just one person. Google tells me the average user has 120-130 Facebook friends. So odds are, the average user has 12-16 friends suffering from infertility. Who knows how many of your friends are upset by this because trying to support someone else through a struggle? So yeah, it is about me, and maybe as many as half of your other friends. That’s not worth a little consideration?
It’s just Facebook.
You’re right. It is just Facebook. So why is it so important to you that I not be upset about your trivialization of my disease? If it’s no big deal, why don’t I have a right to my feelings? Don’t pop on over to twist the knife a little.