Warning: this has little to nothing to do with couponing. It’s just a trend I’ve seen on Facebook and it really bothers me. I’ve not seen others talk about it, so I wanted to just bring it to your attention.
You might have seen stuff like this in your newsfeed lately:
Nice story, right? Let me make this very clear: I don’t take issue with the story AT ALL. It sounds like this girl did something pretty amazing and that’s all kinds of awesome. I did a little Googling and confirmed that story is true, but it’s not new news. It actually occurred in 2007.
So what’s your beef, Angela?
Here’s my beef. This story isn’t being shared because to spread a neat tale of heroism around the interwebs, it’s being shared specifically and solely to bolster the following of one particular dude. Think I’m wrong? Check out the comment that follows the image! And here’s the other odd thing – if you try leaving your own comment on these photos you’ll see you can’t. There are usually only 3-4 comments left with a ton of “likes.” They are often positive, and feel forced. Also, I usually find I can’t even comment on the photo my friend has left to tell them they’re only helping the “cause” of some jerk gaining a bigger following. In this particular case, I even tried subscribing, but still could not add a comment. Which is generally the point of sharing such an image: to build engagement. Odd.
The status updates that accompany these photos and stories that tug on your heartstrings also interestingly enough encourage you to “like” or “share” them if you agree with the sentiment. So you are basically heartless if you don’t like that kid with cancer, soldier holding a kitten, or firefighter rescuing a baby.
But what of our friend, Jim? What if he’s just trying to build subscribers to make a difference in this world? A quick visit over to his page tells me this is the kind of difference he intends to make:
And that’s not even the worst of it. His page is full of sexual references and inappropriate language including the “n” word. Wow, nice, considering the sweet photo he was sharing out of the goodness of his heart.
Is this the worst thing ever? No. Are there bigger fish to fry? Always. Am I being overly petty? Yeah, I get that’s not out of the realm of possibility. But I’m tired of watching my good pals on Facebook share this kind of thing without recognizing what’s going on. Just know, you’re not heartless if you don’t “like” that angel who saved her mom.