The Problem with “Liking” Something-Letters for Change
You’d have to be living under a rock to not know about the ongoing debates regarding Marriage Equality currently making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter and every other form of social media out there. You have probably chimed in espousing your views to your friends and followers, or have had those friends and followers blow up your news feed with their own views. You’ve probably been asked to Share pictures supporting your side, whether it be for or against, and none of this is new to anyone with any experience with social media. This is awesome. This is social media in action. This is groups of people coming together to share their thoughts and concerns and ideas with like-minded folks…and it still isn’t enough.
Liking something on Facebook, reTweeting something on Twitter…this is only a fraction of the impact you as an American can have on the direction our country is taking. The problem, as I see it, lies with the younger crowds unthinking apathy towards anything that doesn’t happen on a touch screen phone. Liking that post or sharing that picture spreads the word, sure, but does it reach the folks who have been elected to serve the public trust is the question you need to concern yourself with.
If a picture of a pink equal sign exists on a hundred thousand profiles, will that make a Senator argue in favor of Gay Marriage? If two hundred thousand Followers Tweet about the how it’s Unconstitutional for the Federal or State Government to ban Gay Marriage will that stop the Conservative groups from lobbying those same Elected Officials to pass such laws?
Does Liking something absolve you of further action…?
We have elections for a reason; so that we as a people get the Government we want. It doesn’t always please everyone, but that’s kind of the point. The MAJORITY vote passes. That means that the President, whether you are a fan or not, has been elected by the Majority of American Voters. That means that the Senators and Congressmen debating these laws were put into power by the Majority of their State’s Voters…you see how I keep saying Majority of Voters? It’s not enough to want something, or to Like it on Facebook…you have to actually DO something about it…
If more folks who were for Marriage Equality voted for the Senators and Congressmen who supported our views then the debate would be carried on in favor of our stance. If we don’t vote, the other side will…and it will win. Call it “Political Evolution”; the way we choose government officials that will make the policy’s we wish to see over successive generations. An act of change carried out by the actions of the Majority as they vote for those who will serve their interests. The building of our future and the future of our children by our actions within our community, state and country…
This is what I’m going to do, I’m going to stop railing about the injustice of the system and I’m going to start doing things to change it. To that end, I’m going to be sending out letters to my Senators, my Congressmen, my Governor and anyone else I can think of and I’m going to participate in my City and State elections.
Here’s my letter, feel free to copy and share…
Hello [insert title and name of elected official here]
My name is [insert your name here] and I support [insert cause here].
As one of my elected officials I feel it is important that you hear directly from as many of your constituency as possible; to that end I will be giving this form letter to as many of my peers as I can through all the social media networks I utilize. I will also be suggesting that those same peers Like and Follow any Social Media pages your office might have in an effort to help you better understand the people you serve, and to assist those people in choosing the right officials for them.
Thank you for your time,
[and this is where you put your signature]
And here’s where I’m going to go to get the info I need to mail it off…
(Funny thing is, most of these folks have links to Facebook pages and Twitter feeds…so, ya know…click on those links too. That way they can hear your voice online.)
I’m not against Facebook or Twitter or any social media as a form of communication and I’m certainly not suggesting it isn’t effective as a means of socio-political discussion, but we can do more and JUST Liking something without doing anything else smacks of apathy and Trendy Activism.
I, for one, am going to stop just “Liking” things and start actually DOING things.
Insert by Wren
I personally would like to add that printing out a letter like this and mailing it literally costs less than a dollar. Find yourself some paper, an envelope, and a simple stamp and let’s turn liking something on Facebook into actual activism, about any subject that matters to you, even if it’s just the cheap and simple kind. 🙂