You Posting Your Condolences Over Facebook Isn’t Doing Anything
I will preface with a few things.
- I donated $7 to this Gofundme
- I feel decently detached from the situation, which gives me the audacity to write this post. Yes, I feel detached. I don’t know anyone who died. I live across the country. This is an okay statement to make.
- My definition of a sad day may not be your definition.
50 people died this morning. Over 150 family members and thousands of friends are going to be grieving for a very long time, if not forever. It’s an extremely sad day for America. With that said, there are many sad days for America. I wish I didn’t have to say that but in recent years, I would estimate we have at least 1–2 days like this a month. Brock, School Shootings, Isis Beheadings, etc. Traditionally on sad days like this, facebook is full of friends expressing disbelief, condolences, confusion, and anger.Today is no different.
Here is my problem with that. I think posting on Facebook is some way to deal with the fact that these sad days occur; potentially a coping strategy. Let me be the first to tell you, you posting about how you feel isn’t helping. You posting about your disbelief isn’t helping either. You can feel those things…PLEASE feel those things but this is my post begging you, don’t post about them. Here are a few thoughts on the topic:
1. You are the noise getting in the way of the actual help.
Have you seen a gofundme floating around on facebook to support? How about information about how to donate blood to the survivors? Or how about any possible way to help? I did. After two hours of simply scrolling through the disbelief, arguments, and condolences of my friends.
There are actual tangible ways to help and thanks to Zucks, it’s become quite easy to find out what the ways are. Unfortunately, it’s harder to locate these ways when Facebook is flooding with posts previously mentioned.
I don’t actually know why we feel like we have to broadcast our feelings on sad days. I feel like it’s a lot harder to broadcast them when you see all your friends broadcasting theirs. It’s like peer pressure in the worst possible way. Why can’t we just feel sad…and that’s it? Not have to tell people we feel sad? That is really a different discussion but it goes back the the initial point of you feeling the need to post your feelings is getting in the way of the actual help.
2. You are creating a culture of talking, not doing.
Imagine if your news feed was full of ways to help the victims, wounded, and family? Imagine that for a second. How powerful would that be? I guarantee you that if you woke up to a news feed full of that, you would contribute by either sharing the link, donating, or both. I don’t know the scientific term for it but we do what we see others do. If we saw others posting about actual ways to help, so would you. If you saw others posting about their feelings about it, so would you. The latter is occurring and it worries me. This may sound like a cold thing to say but I feel like for many people on sad days, when they post about how they feel, they knock off a checkmark. Like, today was a tragedy, let me post about it.
If you really feel horrible about something, take action. Talk is cheap. Talk also creates more talk. Action creates more action. What do you want to be creating?
3. It’s Okay Not To Care
I recognize that this is the most controversial of the three points but you need to understand this.
First, if something strikes you, makes you feel emotional, sad, etc. then this point doesn’t apply to you. This point applies to those who want to care or what to be seen that they care. Sad days happens everyday for someone. There’s a reason I don’t care to speak at PTSD conferences or donate to Autism foundations. It’s because I care about what I care about and that’s it. More importantly , I care about what have affected me, personally.
If everyone in the world is expected to care for any sad thing that happens in the world, emotion and empathy would be diluted. Care about what you care about.
How To Help
I recognize that this is a loaded post. I wrote it quickly. Typos will be present so I apologize for that. If you disagree, don’t start a war with me. Tell me why and let’s have a dialogue at Mat@matsherman.com