Irritated? Try making a real change

Gabi Markovich, Web Editor

I’ve begun to notice a trend over the last few months on Facebook. There will be posts that have been shared or ‘liked’ by thousands of people showing their supposed support of a cause, religion or viewpoint, or their absolute displeasure of a cause, religion or viewpoint.

Now don’t get me wrong, I fully understand and support those who use their voice to take a stand for what they believe. What I do have a problem with is that, for the most part, these powerful stances don’t make it beyond the social media site.

Recently there has been a photograph circulating the site depicting a mother holding a bong up to her infant’s face as though trying to get the child high, and the people of Facebook have been in an uproar.

What’s being depicted is, of course, a horrendous act of child endangerment. However, there are countless children exposed to these kinds of environments everyday, but how many people do you see in your community trying to do something about it?

There have also been posts about bullying, religious fanatics, animal abuse, politics; the list goes on and on. But how many people will make these strong voice opinions in real life? How many people do you know that participate in this Facebook activism would actually take a stand and do something about it outside of the safety of social media?

Personally, I don’t know that many who would, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

It amazes me how many try to pretend issues like this do not exist until there’s a post on Facebook about it, then once the trend moves on so does their support.

A perfect example would be the “Stop Kony” campaign by Invisible Children earlier this year. When the campaign video first appeared, it was almost impossible to check a social media site without seeing something about it. People were enraged by what was happening to these children in Uganda.

The thing is, this had been happening for years before and is still happening today, but how many people are still trying to “Stop Kony” and put an end to this issue? Hell, how many people are still even talking about it or even acknowledging the use of child soldiers?

Not nearly as many as there were during the few weeks the campaign was popular.

The fact that social issues have been come a rotating fad is sickening. Just because there isn’t a post on Facebook does not mean there isn’t a problem or issue anymore.

If activism never leaves the social media domain, nothing will ever change, and that is a fact.

In order to really create a difference in the world, people need to step away from their computers and smart phones and take a real stand out in their community.

What many people don’t seem to realize is that there are ways to support causes outside of Facebook. There are organizations for almost every type of issue imaginable and ways to help out.

For instance, cancer is an issue that hits home with many people, and is something that has affected my family. Every year I donate to American Cancer Society through Relay For Life and even participate in the event by raising money for ACS.

Another cause I feel strongly about is mental health. I got a job at Ozark Center’s Turnaround Ranch working with children who struggle with mental health issues.

I knew that mental health was a big issue that many face, but I had no idea how far it extended before I began working there.

These are my own ways of making a stand and helping others. And they’re much more rewarding and effective than clicking ‘share’ on Facebook.

They have also showed me how little some people know about what’s going on around them and how much activism issues in general are downplayed by the public.

So next time you witness Facebook activism, remember that these issues do not end when you click ‘log out.’ There are always things happening in the world that need to be changed and people needed to take a real stand, so why not you?