Cartoons are taking over facebook

So you may have noticed your Facebook friends changing their profile pictures to cartoon characters from the 70s, 80s and 90s between posting ‘I drink’ statuses over the past couple of days, and it turns out that it’s another Facebook meme to “raise awareness” for an important issue. This time it’s violence against children.

People are changing their profile pictures to their favorite childhood cartoon character and then posting a status (there are several iterations of it floating around — some of which don’t even mention violence against children at all) telling everyone what the meme is about.

Apparently it has evolved from a series of statuses posted by Greek facebook users a few weeks ago, and the child abuse element was added after the meme had already gained some momentum and reached English-speaking countries. Now with a cause behind it, it’s going viral.

At least this one, unlike the ‘I drink,’ ‘I like it’ and bra color memes before it, is inclusive. The Breast Cancer memes are mind-boggling because they’re asking people to participate in the name of “raising awareness”, but the only people who are aware of what’s going on are the participants. There’s a logic failure there. So it’s a step in the right direction to see this meme explaining itself out in the open. What still doesn’t make sense to me is how “awareness raising” is better than actually volunteering time or making a donation to a worthy foundation.

I definitely understand people’s exceitement at the meme, because nostalgia! Shared memories! Fun conversation starters with randos in your social network! 70s cartoon characters were badass!

But I also understand the general sense of frustration that keeps cropping up at different ends of the internet. Because, come on, at the end of the day, what is this really doing for kids?

Something as simple as including a link in the statuses to organizations like St. Jude’s, who work to find cures for childhood caner, would make this meme infinitely more helpful to its cause.

So hey — if you’re gonna participate in this thing (and I know you are, you junkies), do it right. Take the couple of seconds to paste a link into your status and make a donation yourself.