Sunday, December 5, 2010

Is changing your profile photo helpful, or is it slactivism?

A few days ago I began noticing many of my FB and Twitter pals had changed their profile photos to cartoons. Many are from the sixties, seventies and even eighties. (I didn't watch cartoons after that, so maybe there are a few from that post era as well). Dork Ellen may have noticed, but didn't pick up that there was anything special going on.


Yesterday a friend sent me an invitation to change my profile photo for the support of child abuse. Finally it all made sense. Today I found an interesting article on this that once again had me wondering -

Does changing your profile photo really accomplish anything, or is it slactivism at its best?

* Activism is when someone dedicated to a cause gets out there and does something about it. Something tangible and worthwhile.

* Slactivism
(to me) is doing something easy that serves no real tangible purpose other than to make the writer feel good about what they've done.

So, what does changing my profile photo do? Does it change policy in Washington? Does it save a child from living a life of terror in their own home? Does it wipe the tears of a child that is being abused?


I agree however with the author of the article.

Sometimes the least that we can do is activism when it helps to heal the heart of someone who has been hurt. If it supports someone and makes their life even temporarily better because we have told them we care, then it has served a purpose. It won't help prevent abuse from happening to another child, but it gets people talking, which is good for awareness and for the healing of those who have been hurt. It is a butterfly bandage over the gaping wound that will never completely heal... but even a butterfly bandage is better than leaving the wound open to become infected.

One of the truths of child abuse, is that when the evils are being perpetrated upon the child, no one is there to protect them. The fact is in most cases the child knows all too well that there are many people who are aware what is happening, yet choose to turn away because they don't want to get involved, leaving the child to feel abandoned, worthless, not worth the trouble... afraid and forgotten.

Changing a profile photo changes nothing physically for the child (who may now be an adult) but it does something mentally. Someone cares today. They may not know what else to do, but they are doing what they can. And it opens up the opportunity for dialogue, and talking about an issue is always good... and it often leads to true and powerful activism.

So, will you take the time to change your profile photo to show support for child abuse? Why or why not?

That leaves me feeling that I would like very much to post a cartoon photo from my childhood, but wondering which one I should choose...

Aaahhhh, now I know which one.

Curious what I've posted?

See my Facebook profile
See my Twitter profile

No comments: