Tuesday 27 September 2016
Yes, yes, I know, I’m terribly cynical. Have been since I was a kid. I remember my form room teacher telling me I was cynical for my age, and that was when I was fifteen and in year ten. Anyway, to the point of my post . . .
My gorgeous aunt nominated me to do the twenty-two push ups in twenty-two days challenge, to raise awareness of the prominence of suicide amongst returned service men and women. I don’t ordinarily engage in these challenges, or these “awareness raising” thingies that go on. I’ll get around to explaining why I don’t join in momentarily. Not only did my aunt nominate me, but my seriously cute lil cousin also nominated my mama and I to do it, because he was also doing his own version of the challenge. His videos are much more fun to watch than all the rest with people boringly doing push ups . . . well, except those videos of my aunt’s where said lil cousin likes to join in and help her get through her push ups by jumping all over her, or pushing on her back and bum just to increase the resistance. 😉 His videos have him doing all sorts of things that aren’t push ups, but are things that lil fellas do when they play, like make silly noises, and jump around being . . . actually, I don’t really know what he’s being when he jumps around. Possibly a dinosaur or something, but it’s damn cute whatever he’s doing!
On to why I don’t normally join in these things. Y’see, in my opinion, these challenges don’t actually raise awareness of whatever social issue they’re purporting to raise awareness of. Sure, the first couple of videos might get the attention of the Internet loving public, but after the zillionth video, let’s face it, nobody pays attention to the reason behind the challenge because they’re too busy trying to complete the damn task. And after your social account timelines have been laden with repetitive clips of people pouring buckets of iced water over themselves, or trying (sometimes in vain) to complete twenty-two push ups, admit it, you switch off to the issue. I freely admit that I watch my aunt’s clips in order to see what that cheeky lil monkey of a lil cousin of mine is going to do next! I know she can nail twenty-two push ups, after all, she’s a sporty lady.
I wonder how people who are impacted by these issues actually feel about the challenges? I tend to think they’d probably prefer money to assist with funding into research, or providing treatment and treatment opportunities. I’m sure that schmucks around the world making up silly challenges might just come across as a tad patronising. And the one that really sh!ts me off is the challenge or game that goes around every year in order to raise awareness of breast cancer. You know the ones, where you have to reveal your bra colour, where you put your purse, or you have to choose from some stupid status hijacking update because you made the mistake of liking or commenting on one of your friend’s dumba$$ status updates that they posted because they also like someone else’s fake status. It was allegedly to make men wonder what women were up to. Really? You seriously think that decent guys are going to be wondering what you’re doing by posting that sh!t? Let me let you in on something: they’re not wondering, but they probably are thinking what a dingbat you are for posting such cr@p on your Facebook. To be honest, they’re probably not even thinking about that because they don’t give a sh!t about your status updates.
The reason this particular one gives me the sh!ts is because my mama does have breast cancer. Stage three, to be exact, and these things don’t do a sh!tting thing for raising awareness. In fact, in my opinion, they trivialise the issue. Whoop-de-f*%king-do, you can post cr@p on your Facebook profile. You’re not helping anyone who is battling breast cancer by doing so. You’ve not contributed to research projects to find a cure; you’ve not convinced some other woman to get a mammogram; you’ve not discovered new treatments. But hopefully you do get the picture.
So why have I decided that I will participate in the twenty-two push up challenge? Excellent question. Well, quite simply, it comes down to this: when your three-year-old cousin tells you to do something, you do it. Unless, of course, you’re an a$$hole. And I am not one of those; at least, I’m not an a$$hole where my three-year-old cousin is concerned, because he’s such a freakin’ lil cutie. I also have a few ideas for videos up my sleeve, so you might not get only clips of me doing push ups. You’ll have to wait for those though.
In the meantime, do something constructive for a cause that you feel passionate about. Donate money or time. Raise awareness in a constructive manner that doesn’t involve being a twat on Social Media. Volunteer for a charity. But don’t let sh!thouse Social Media awareness raising challenges make you cynical about doing something constructive for a cause. That’s my job, and I have enough cynicism for a helluva lot of people. 😉