Have you ever received one of those Facebook “Cause” requests? Did you accept it? Why or why not? I recently received a Facebook Cause request (actually about 200) about stopping human trafficking. This is one of the few I have ever accepted. After accepting it, I couldn’t help wondering why I chose to accept that one but not the hundreds of others. Maybe it was because I had more time to go through the 3 or 4 steps of signing up for this cause. Maybe it was because both my parents have a passion for this same cause and it was discussed at the dinner table when I was younger. But when I looked back on the causes I chose not to accept and the ones I did, I found that two years ago I had no passion for any of them. But now, with Facebook increasing our awareness of the world around us, I had formed opinions and a passion for many “causes.”
Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and other web-based soap boxes have helped a president get elected, raise funds for breast cancer, and helped us show support for our men and women in the armed forces. In a matter of minutes we as users are able to access and gain the basic information on virtually any cause out there. It gives our causes a voice that perhaps even 10 years ago they did not have. By the simple click of a button we express our opinion. “I like this” or “I want this to stop now.” People are even asking their Facebook friends to “like” a status so they can make a decision of whether or not to dye their hair pink. Twitter allows us to embed a link on our tweets so our followers can be directed to a petition for gun control or saving an historic small town courthouse. No matter the cause, the public’s awareness has most certainly increased with the boom of social media.
Just as important as raising awareness to the public, is the public’s ability to see all sides of an argument on these issues. After being sent a request to join the cause “Support Stricter Penalties for Cop Killers” I decided to do some research. After clicking on the link leading me to the proposed bill, I realized that if I did join this cause I would be contradicting my views on the death penalty. Even though I felt compelled to join this cause at first, I couldn’t support that view of the death penalty. The ease of access to information we as voters, citizens, and students now have thanks to social media is phenomenal. Our understanding of a cause, group, or page is all we have to lean on when deciding whether or not to support it, that information has now become more accessible.
Even though the majority of our time on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and YouTube might be stalking our friends, tweeting inspirational quotes, or uploading voicing our views on Obamacare, we should all take a few minutes to read that “Cause Request” or that Group Invitation. Who knows? We might even form an opinion.
Adam Tidrow is a Business Management/Entrepreneurship major at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. Adam is originally from Centerville, Indiana where he is still actively involved in the community, raising awareness about teen sobriety and abuse. Having wanted to start his own business since he was just ten years old, Tidrow hopes to one day start a consulting firm that will aide in the growth of local businesses and increase community activism.
“Only two things do I fear: Not reaching my potential and stopping when I get there.”