It Really Is That Easy
Hundreds of anti-bullying organizations made joyful preparations to close their doors immediately after an email circulated Northwestern listservs on February 22rd encouraging all to “Stand up against bullying! WEAR A PINK SHIRT TOMORROW!!!"
This effort was made in light of the resounding success of recent campaigns, such as the “bra game”, whereby many women changed their Facebook statuses to the color of the bra they were wearing. When questioned about it by men, they explained that it was an attempt to remind people of the prevalence of breast cancer, gave links to relevant information, and prompted donations or volunteer work for research centers and hospitals said that it was a secret.
The pioneers of this campaign originally stated, “Firstly, we think breast cancer is a really hidden issue – no one knows what it is! - so awareness is definitely what we need to work on to enact change. Therefore, we decided that setting up a phenomenon designed to keep half the population in the dark and vaguely remind the other half of the existence of breast cancer will really achieve our goals.”
The campaign was re-launched in October 2010, with activists blaming the continuation of the disease on the irresponsible few who did not change their Facebook status the first time. During the second wave, people posted “I like it on [current location of their purse]” as their statuses. As expected, this yielded the overwhelming response of “You like it on the kitchen counter? Wow, I really should encourage the women in my life to get tested for cancer.”
“It’s a social justice revolution!” exclaimed Dr. Non S. Equitur, the man behind the movement to change Facebook profile pictures to cartoon images to raise awareness about child abuse. “We simply took the old model, which was awareness + contribution of time or resources, and removed the contribution part. And eventually the awareness part.”
Humanitarian leaders lauded the simplicity of the solution, with many resigning from their positions to help the world in much more tangible ways, like parting their hair to the left in order to end human sex trafficking. One man proposed to alleviate poverty, eliminate murder, and bring back ten species of extinct animals with an innovative combination of clothing choice and Facebook “liking." It was rejected, however, because “it would just be too much effort."
Some do worry that the power of these campaigns will be used manipulatively. It is rumored that the Egyptian internet shutdown was actually political prevention against a U.S. launched mission to institutionalize English as the official language by setting the Internet Explorer home page of all Egyptians to www.omglasergunspewpewpew.com.
For now, though, it seems that statuses are being used mostly for the greater good, one step at a time. It is the miracle of today: Yes! One can actively prevent psychological or physical violence against others by wearing a certain color for one day! All that time spent on Facebook should really be considered volunteer work! Now go put a pink shirt on, and save the world half a step (possibly in the wrong direction) at a time.