Last night and this morning, loads of my friends have changed their Facebook profile pictures to that of their favourite cartoon character from their childhood. NICE! I thought, so I got involved and changed mine to Inspector Gadget.
This meme spreading across Facebook is the reason why people are doing it…
DON’T FORGET to Change your Facebook profile pic to a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same, for the NSPCC. Until monday (December 6th) there should be no human faces on Facebook, but an invasion of memories! This is a campaign to stop violence against children (to raise awareness of child abuse).
I originally thought that this was a fantastic word of mouth campaign by the NSPCC to raise awareness of child abuse and encourage people to give to charity. So I did some research to find out why the NSPCC were doing it, what the reasons behind it were, how it was seeded and why it spread so quickly. But, nothing I can find links this FB status trending topic to the NSPCC. In fact, nothing I can find links this to any charity or fundraising initiative at all. It turns out that the original Facebook status update was started by someone from Greece in November (KnowYourMeme) but it had limited success. It was reported in the Huffington Post at the time. It’s fairly obvious to me that because the original trend had limited success, someone added a good cause to make it seem more worthy and because of this, it has spread like wildfire.
The problem is, because there is no link to an event, fundraising initiative or any worthy cause at all, this trend will not help eradicate child abuse one bit. It will make people feel good by evoking some nostalgia and get them thinking that they are doing something good, but there has to be a call to action at the end of it all. Unfortunately this is a huge fail and I feel a little bit duped that I have got involved.
But the thing is, now I am involved, I’m going to try and do something about it. I’ve just started my own JustGiving page to encourage people to donate to the NSPCC and I’ve got the ball rolling by donating a fiver! I hope others will do the same. It’s the only way to REALLY make a difference.