So some of my friends have joined a brand new Facebook group called “Support the Monks’ protest in Burma”. No doubt the junta who have been running Burma are shaking in their army boots. I searched the group to see if Aung San Suu Kyi had joined in, but I couldn’t locate her using the friend finder.
Now please don’t think I’m trying to put myself above all this as though I’m immune to the time wasting charms of Facebook. I have a profile and have had a lot of fun finding out what happened to a lot of people I haven’t bothered to keep in touch with for over a decade, but I just can’t come at Facebook as a political statement.
Facebook politics is so damn lazy. I don’t care how many causes you support with digital ribbons on your profile, when’s the last time you volunteered some of your time or made a meaningful donation to something rather than just handing over your loose change? Facebook causes have replaced Greenpeace membership as the easiest and least meaningful way to assuage a guilty social conscience.
Marginally less useless are the online petitions where you are encouraged to sign up and then spam everyone in your address book. Who do they even send these petitions to? It’s pretty obvious that petitions from actual constituents mean absolutely nothing to elected officials, so why would anyone think that Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or some crackpot dictator gives a damn what you think?
“Oh look, Dave from Albury has condemned us. Perhaps we should open source Windows / give away iPhones / become a democracy?”
While you’re at it how about clapping your hands while chanting “I do believe in fairies. I do, I do.”?
Can we please leave Facebook for stalking old girlfriends and wasting time at work and actually do something productive about causes we believe in?