Facebook profile pictures are decorated with cartoons today as members everywhere put up cartoon characters from their childhood to raise awareness for child abuse. Generally, there are depictions of cartoon characters from the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, which cover the decades that make up the lion share of Facebook members’ births.
Increasingly, Facebook is being used as an easy way to quickly raise awareness, via grassroots efforts, for worthy causes.
Earlier this year, women on Facebook updated their statuses by stating their bra color, such as red, white, pink or black. This cryptic message initially raised curiosity, which in turn raised awareness for breast cancer.
Later on in the year, in October, which was Breast Cancer Awareness month, Facebook members once again took to the social networking site to raise awareness for breast cancer by updating their statuses; with messages that seemed actually sexually suggestive.
Women were posting where they “like” to put their purses down when they come home, though they would leave out what exactly it was they liked and instead said things such as “I like it on the kitchen table” and “I like it on the floor”.
Now, the focus shifts to combat the scourge of child abuse. One Facebook member wrote, “From now until December 7, change your profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood. The objective of this is not to see any human faces on facebook but an invasion of memories for the fight against Violence to Children. Remember we were kids too :D”
Some have wondered, and undoubtedly will continue to wonder, if these types of easy efforts, as well intentioned as they may be, really do anything tangible to combat the problems, or if they are simply a way to make the members ‘feel better’ without having to actually do anything.
While nobody doubts that the people organizing these efforts (and it’s usually difficult to determine who exactly did the organizing), want to fight the problems, are Facebook status updates merely an illusion of something positive, or do they actually lead to something down the line that helps the situation?
For today, and through December 7, Facebook members will see a lot less of their friends on profile pictures and a lot more of Papa Smurf, Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo and Woody Woodpecker. If the effort helps protect even one child from abuse, then it was time well spent.
Source: Bianca Bosker, “Cartoon Character Facebook Profile Pictures Go Viral: Here’s Why”, huffingtonpost.com