I am a huge ‘hater’ of Facebook campaigns on almost every circumstance. I’m annoyed by Facebook statuses that state “copy this if you love your mom too”. Why? If I don’t it means I don’t love my mom? Or my husband? Or my daughter? My son? I find it silly. I love reading my friend’s status updates because it captures their daily life. Some of them are downright hilarious (check out this Facebook group titled “The Mind Blowing Things My Buddy Tim Says”).
Last year, a few of my friends, including my 16 year old nieces and my 32 year old mom friends, were posting status updates that said something along the lines of, “black lace” or “pink with polka dots”. The statuses were references to what bra the person was wearing at the moment. The email circulated stated that this was “a fun way to spread breast cancer awareness, but don’t tell the boys! They will go crazy wondering what this is all about.” Uh….huh.
I posted my own update calling the idea stupid, and I voiced my opinion on a news talk-show that I also thought that some (not all!) people posting this as their status had no intention of promoting breast cancer awareness but rather promoting their breasts and being provocative and cute, making thier ex-boyfriends or highschool buddies imagine them in such an ensemble. I offended people with that comment for sure – I didn’t mean that everyone who posted it thought that way, just as a general blanket statement (blanket statements are notorious for getting the person in trouble, by the way).
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s no surprise that this little cutesy campaign is once again making it’s rounds on Facebook, but this time I’m losing my flipping lid over the absurdity of it. Recently, I saw a few of my friends posting a Facebook status like this “Jane Smith likes it on the kitchen table”. Huh?? At first I thought my friend’s husband got ahold of the laptop and changed her status to be silly, but then a few more friends posted a similar status. “Likes it on the coffee table”, “Likes it on the floor” and “Likes it on the bed” were all showing up in statuses.
The final straw was when my 17 year old niece posted it as her status. On the kitchen table. Uh…huh. I messaged her and asked her what exactly the joke was supposed to be and that’s when it was explained. Sorry Facebook members, I’m going to ruin it now and now “all the boys” will know what’s going on. Apparently, in an effort to encourage breast cancer awareness (???) you are asked to answer this question in your status, “Where do you like to keep your purse?” But remember, don’t tell the boys and they will go crazy wondering what your status really means.
Seriously? Really? How does a provactive statement like “Jane Smith likes it on the kitchen table” have anything to do with breast cancer awareness and how does that status do anything to encourage your friends to do monthly breast self-exams and to learn about the risk factors, signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and early detection and screening programs?
I wish people would stop trying to be sexy, or coy, or provocative in their status while veiling it as promoting something it clearly is not. If you really want to promote breast cancer awareness, how about posting the above links in your status so you can actually help someone, instead of having your 70 year old auntie picturing you having sex on the kitchen table.
(Edited to add – After posting this a reader sent me this breast cancer story, that really brings it all home. Worth a read if you have some time! Thank you Chelsea.)