Disclaimer: To those of you who do change your facebook statuses with the full understanding that you are merely supporting a cause and need to follow up with other action to actually see long term change, more power to you! Please bear with the bluntness (and potential controversy) of what follows…
Now that so many things are in the open and known about, participating in viral awareness campaigns is (not solely, but to a degree) is often just a way for people to feel like they’re making a difference when actually they’re not doing a heck of a lot. It’s great for showing support for friends who might be struggling through something, but not for long term change in medical or poverty trends.
As the world grows in maturity in terms of the importance that we place on welfare as opposed to wealth, awareness has been an important part of that maturing process, but now we need to move on to action. I hate to break it to the 90% of my facebook friends who take part in these things, but changing your status isn’t action.
The following things could be considered more useful than changing your status:
1) Get yourself into a university and do some research that will help us find practical ways to alleviate poverty or perhaps some medical research that will help us keep people alive and healthy in areas like breast cancer and other cancers and currently uncurable medical problems.
2) If you can’t do research, lend some practical help by doing the labour work that needs doing as a result of research that’s been done by other people (e.g. go to Africa and help dig some wells).
3) Adopt a child.
4) At bare minimum, donating even a small amount of money to an organisation that is doing something practical will be more useful than changing your facebook status.