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Inner Peace

If only…


Google+ Invites

Well, I finally managed to get online with Google+. The service is in limited trial and an invite is required to actually get in, so you can’t just sign up at this point. This is a case where knowing somebody gets you everywhere. So, as King, I dispatched my interweb minions to track down an invite and, low and behold, I was in like Flynn. (It’s best not to ask about their methods… plausible denial and all that.)

Once behind the velvet rope, you find what you’ve come to expect from Google. Clean, streamlined simplicity. Sure, there’s a bit of a learning curve however it’s not a big one if you’ve used Facebook before. And everything you post, you have immediate hands-on control over who you are sharing it with by utilizing Circles (groups of friends or contacts). So if you’re sick to death of the Mark Zuckerberg’s privacy-crushing behemoth and how flippant Facebook is with your information, Google+ might be more up your alley.

If you want in, feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll hook you up.

Are Cartoons Actually Stopping Child Abuse?

It’s a phenomenon that seems to be gaining momentum on Facebook; many of my friends have spent the past few days changing their profile pictures and updating their statuses:

According to a Facebook Page that appears to be promoting the profile pic switch, this is the Campaign to End Violence Against Children – Childhood Cartoon Faces.

“Until Monday (Dec. 6), there should be no human faces on Facebook but an invasion of memories. This is for eliminating violence against children,” the page says. The undisclosed campaign creator asks Facebook users to change their profile pic and share the above statement in their status.

via Cartoons Invade Facebook to End Violence Against Children on Mashable.

Kick-ass stache, bro

I’m not going to beat around the bush; I think this “campaign” is a load of bullshit that ends up doing a disservice to the social issue that it is claiming to raise awareness of. Recent campaigns that have used the internet to propel their message include women updating their Facebook status with the colour of their bra (to get women thinking about a breast exam to catch breast cancer as early as possible) or the wildly popular Movember (to raise awareness and money in the name of prostate cancer).

Where these two campaigns differ from the current cartoon craze is that they both have a very distinct end goal in mind; to inspire people to be proactive about getting checked for two of the most common cancers plaguing young people. What message does this cartoon campaign promote? The inference is that changing your profile picture to a cartoon character will, somehow, be a positive move to eliminate violence against children.

Ok, great.  Facebookers change their picture… now what?  For 99.99% of people who change their picture in the time prior to December 6th, they will do absolutely nothing else.  And why is that?  Two reasons.

  1. The campaign has no direction. There isn’t even a link to the Facebook page promoting the campaign in any of the status updates.  If there were, people could actually visit it to see that there are links to websites of organizations devoted to the stopping child abuse and donate some money.
  2. The issue of violence against children is extremely complex, often with roots in a myriad of social problems like poverty, alcohol and/or drug abuse or… well, the list goes on and on. With such a complex problem, trying to solve it or make a positive step is a daunting task that could require generations to even be able to make a dent.

I guess that one could say it has maybe inspired people to talk about it, at least.  Raising awareness is a first step to making change.  I’d say that, more likely, it gives people a false sense of satisfaction that they are doing something positive for the cause when, in fact, they haven’t done anything at all.

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