Op-Ed

Celebrating nonsense

Spencer Van Dyk | Fulcrum Staff

Happy hug-a-journalist-day. If this page does not receive one million “likes” by 3 p.m., the wrath of journalists everywhere will come down on you. Keep in mind, this is also Sanitation Engineer Week, wherein you must tell your garbage collector how much you appreciate him or her. Oh, and it’s also Yellow Day, so God help you if you are wearing any other colour. If we were to listen to the Facebook pages we “like” out of sheer boredom, we would be handing over our autonomy our behaviour completely. Let’s face it: the “share if you agree” phenomenon on Facebook is the 2012 version of the “forward this email to 15 people in the next three minutes or your head will explode” trend of 2005.

The other day there was a meme on Facebook that read, “‘Like’ if you believe nurses rock.” Can’t we all agree nurses are important and we appreciate their work? Unless you’ve had a nurse who administered an unnecessary enema, it is a generally agreed upon fact that nurses rock. So why the need for validation? Is the nursing profession so insecure that they need people everywhere to remind them that we do, in fact, enjoy being treated kindly while receiving medical attention? It isn’t just nurses who get online adoration. The Internet itself seems to be wholeheartedly dedicated to continuously commemorating some profession, relationship, or colour—365 days a year.

Why do people “like” things on Facebook? Is it to show support for a cause? To show support for the person posting the link? Simply to show they have read and acknowledged the post? Would the world end if we did not observe Purple Day? Would the zombie apocalypse ensue if we did not show sufficient support for some cause? As a rule of thumb, if you don’t care about something enough to personally organize a fundraising event for that cause, keep it off my Facebook, and stop guilt tripping me into “liking” it.

Even more prevalent are the Facebook statuses that celebrate Friends Week, Sisters Week, or some other special bond—what’s next, National Goldfish Week? These constant posts celebrating insignificant events detract from legitimate causes. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my sister, my friends, my mom, my teachers, my nurses, and the colour red—but the act of “liking” those things on a website doesn’t show legitimate support for people or causes.

Buy a card, sign the card, mail the card, and tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them. Wear the colour purple. Organize an event for a cause you hold dear. That means a lot more than pressing a button and activating a little blue “thumbs up” on your Facebook page.