Monday, June 13, 2016

Why my Facebook picture isn't a rainbow today.

I very, very rarely participate in the Updated Profile Photo/Copy-Paste message type of thing on Facebook. Not because I'm not supportive of the community or because I'm not saddened and horrified by their loss. I am. And even though I am religious I also don't pray over these kinds of situations either. I choose not to do these things because they give me a false feeling of "having done something" to help. 

How many people on Facebook will update their photos without writing to their senator or other representatives about the importance of stopping these attacks in the future? How many people will copy/paste a message of support and then not vote in November? How many people will cover their profile in rainbows/French flags/etc. and then see active prejudice in the streets and say or do nothing to stop it? They aren't bad people, they just feel they've done something to help by showing support or offering prayers and condolences. I don't want to give myself that false feeling of having done what I can to stop the problem, so I use that fear and anger and sorrow to push myself to find the ways that I personally can make the situation better.

I encourage you, too, to leave your Facebook page the same as it has ever been. Take the feelings you have about the shooting in Orlando (or Aurora, or Newtown, or San Bernadino, etc.) and put them into action. Write a letter. Join a group that works to end gun violence. Vote this November. When you hear someone saying racist, homophobic things in public let them know you don't agree. Do what you can to change things for the better and don't let yourself believe that your thoughts, prayers, and social media "show of support" is all you have to give. Get out there and change the world for the better.

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