Author: Sarah Spinuzzi
There is no doubt that Facebook has changed the world, or a least the way the world communicates. It is, however, doubtful that a Facebook event has ever changed the world or made a significant difference. I have received invitations lately to wear red for Japan and to boycott buying gas on a random day and to turn off all lights for an hour to save energy. While these events have noble causes, they are truly ineffective in bringing about change in the world and are ultimately just annoying.
In a single day, users can receive multiple invitations to causes like boycotting gas purchases. These gas boycotts are in no way organized, as the invitations call for boycotting gas on two separate days. There is no conceivable way the gas companies can really feel the impact of a handful of users not filling up their tanks, especially when you consider that some only buy gas about twice a month. Another recent invitation called guests to wear red for Japan. The holes in this plan are immediately evident, as the invitation was not specific to Occidental (nor any other institution) nor did it have a specific day to wear red. The bigger question, however, is whether or not this poor excuse for activism would actually have any effects. It is hard to imagine someone asking why a peer chose to wear a perfectly normal color on a certain day, so to contend that wearing red can raise money, aid or awareness for Japan is too much.
It is hard to discredit Facebook completely or even Facebook events. Events have a purpose. When someone wants to throw a party with their friends, Facebook invitations can quickly spread the news.
Invitations to join different social causes are just a facade to make it seem like people really care. Random people unaffiliated with an official organization who make an event that relies solely upon Facebook is not going to solve any of the world’s problems. Accepting these invitations due to guilt won’t accomplish any more than answering “Not Attending.” Even though people might hate people asking them to sign petitions, at least these activists really care and are at least trying to put in more than a single-click’s effort. At least they know that certain motions are required for change.
If you really care about a particular cause, you will close the Facebook tab so many of us are constantly staring at and establish real personal relationships with others who care about the same issue. Get some real face time.
Sarah Spinuzzi is a sophomore philosophy major. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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