Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cartoons and Facebook

If you're on Facebook, surely you've seen the latest viral trend to change your profile picture to a favorite cartoon from your childhood. The post most people are adding to their status updates is something like this:

"Change your facebook profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday (Dec. 6) there should be no human faces on Facebook, but an invasion of memories. This is to support the fight against violence towards children."

There are many variations on the status update - this was just taken from one of the many posts I saw my various friends make. Over the course of the weekend, I've seen a ton of different cartoons from my childhood popping up in my Facebook news feed. It's been a wonderful trek down memory lane, reminding me about all the cartoons I don't get to watch anymore.

Personally, I didn't add the status update, but I did change my profile picture to one of Lisa Simpson. Technically, The Simpsons started when I was a child - I was a kid in the late 80s when the show began. But I chose that picture because I already had it in my file of profile pictures on Facebook - I've used it as my profile picture before. I like Lisa Simpson.

What I really want to address is the last bit of that status update - the bit about fighting violence against children. Me changing my profile picture to an image of Lisa Simpson is going to do absolutely nothing to fight child abuse. And I know that. I just like Lisa Simpson. That's why I didn't bother adding that stupid status update to my profile. I know it's not going to do anything.

And don't get me started on "raising awareness." We all know that child abuse happens, and we all know that we probably should be doing something about it. Remember the first couple posts I made in this blog? I wrote about that Facebook trend where women were encouraged to post the color of their bra to "raise awareness" for breast cancer. I went off on that concept then, and this one is exactly the same.

But you all know this, and you probably all think the same thing I do. You're probably all just like me - you wanted to remember the cartoons of your youth, and you've been enjoying seeing them all infect your Facebook newsfeeds. Right?

Today, I saw something new. Supposedly, the whole idea of changing your profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood was started by a group of child molesters. Supposedly they think that if the kids see a picture of a cartoon, they'll be more likely to accept the friend request.

This may or may not be true, I have no idea. However, I know that my Lisa Simpson picture is not going to make a difference whether or not some sort of pervert is going to try to prey on his next victim. How does it benefit the bad guys if all my friends are posting pictures from cartoons? I don't really get it. Why do the pedophiles need a viral Facebook trend to change their profile pictures to cartoons? I've seen it plenty of times before this trend started - like I said, I've used the Lisa Simpson picture before.

It's all a matter of scaring the masses. The bad people are out to get your children. We're all going to get cancer and die. Everything in the world is bad and nothing is ever good or done just for the fun of it. There's always a group out there with an ulterior motive, and I'm sick of it.

Use your brains, people. If you like cartoons, change your profile picture. If you don't like cartoons, leave your picture the way it was. It won't matter one way or the other.


  1. I believe it originally had nothing to do with childhood abuse awareness - it began in early Nov as a fun thing to do. Only recently did it get co-opted as this awareness thing (really spoiling the feel good factor!) and then into a paedophiles are using it myth.

  2. teh internets: reinventing the telephone game one meme at a time.

  3. It does matter cause it won't be as easy if they can't blend in. We don't wanna hand our kids over to child molesters on a fuckin silver platter!

  4. It's about raising awareness which is a big part of helping any cause. This movement on Facebook, regardless of where it started, who started it, etc. is in fact raising awareness. As are you by blogging about it.