Raising awareness – why?

Over the last couple of years I’ve noticed a trend – social media makes it so easy for us to raise awareness of certain causes. raise-bullying-awarenessBullying awareness, ALS awareness, autism awareness… the list goes on. And while yes, it’s cool that people are now more aware of these things… what purpose does that actually serve?

I saw an advertisement the other day for a company that donated to breast cancer research – and it was not Susan G. Komen. Their argument was something along the lines of this: who doesn’t know about breast cancer? It’s sort of like advertising for toilet paper (in general, not specific brands). Who doesn’t use this already?? Wouldn’t it be better to use our energy on solutions? Wouldn’t it serve us better to have a breast cancer donation month instead of an awareness month? In the United States, there are 69 documented cancer awareness“awareness” months. Meaning that over the 12 months of the year, over 69 things are being highlighted for awareness at some point. One of them is vegetarian awareness month, people.

I don’t mean to sound snarky here, but really? This number does not include the appreciation and celebration months either. These are just the ones that say “awareness” in the name. And you know what? We, as a result are a pretty informed culture. We know about a lot of different things. Cool. But it’s difficult to pinpoint if anyone is actually doing something to help these causes (not talking about you, vegetarians. You’re good on your own).

Facts are great. Knowledge is important. I feel like “awareness” is just another buzzword to help us feel important. Joseph-Kony-2012-PosterLike Kony 2012 – tons of awareness. But what even happened? I bet you have no idea. And what about the ice bucket challenge? People were supposed to pour a bucket of ice on their head so that they didn’t have to donate $100. What kind of backwards help is that? Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, changing your profile picture, hashtagging your status or otherwise “raising awareness”, why don’t we actually do something. Donate money. Volunteer time. For heaven’s sake, just pray if you can’t do anything else. Actually, pray before anything else. It’s so much better than just throwing information into the wind and hoping somebody, somewhere will take some kind of initiative.

That is all.

 

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4 thoughts on “Raising awareness – why?

  1. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, too. I get that people have to know a problem exists before they can fix the problem, but it seems like we just stop at knowing and never get to the doing. I so love the idea of a donation month (or some other action) instead of an awareness month, especially for the things people are pretty aware of already.

  2. Kayla,
    I just read your post from 11/18/15 and it was extremely powerful. We have an 8 yo daughter and a 2 yo boy and we are very involved in their lives. We homeschool our daughter and also send her to a coop school twice a week. My girl is very strong willed and we try to let her sprout her wings under our supervision but play dates bring all sorts of stories. The sleepover offers have been coming lately and we deny them as much as possible. If there is a sleepover, we choose the guests and it is usually at our home.
    I must admit that I knew hardly any of those sites and am only in one closed group on Facebook.
    Anyway, your blog was very educating and I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to write it.

  3. Thank you so much for this post, I have a 10 yr old daughter and I need all the help I can get with keeping up with social media/Internet issues!! I can’t be with her 24/7 especially as she gets older, I can put every restriction possible on her phone iPad etc but she can always go on a friends and be exposed, it’s very scary and sad they grow up too fast and in a bad way being exposed to things I dont even want to see! Bing

  4. I recently was prompted to follow up a quote form HRH Queen Elizabeth from her Christmas Day speech … William Lonsdale 1907 … no the same but the sentiment is I think, we talk lots, but talk is cheap …
    “But denunciatory rhetoric is so much easier and cheaper than doing good works and proves a popular temptation. Yet it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness”

    “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it”

    May you be encouraged and enjoy the gift of motherhood

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