From the Archives: On Media Platforming

A note from 2021: I’m including this on the Thistle because it was interesting to me to realize what I was on about seven years ago would still be so pertinent today. Views can change and my writing style has changed, but this is a good representation of my longstanding views on social media.

Published June 1, 2014 on sarasmanyhats.ca:

So I totally skipped church today. I thought it would be better for my spiritual health.  Mostly, I just needed some time to myself that isn’t filled with rush rush rush. And I haven’t blogged in awhile. Here are my Sunday morning reflections:

Ooo look! A meme!

1. Facebook is stupid for all purposes other than connecting with friends to make plans or catch up.

2. Unequivocally declaring that something is stupid via the internet as your media platform is stupid. Furthermore, what ever happened to ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’. Spreading fear and hatred–and especially misinformation resulting in fear and hatred–on the internet is rampant; it’s scary and hateful. STOP – WAIT – It COULD be happening to YOU, RIGHT NOW!!!!!!! There are enough legitimate things to be concerned about in the world, when interacting with real, authentic people in your lives, that you don’t need to get hyped up on the interweb. And if there is a cause you are passionate about, if you care enough to do some research and be smart about it, please, please consider doing something that will have a positive real-life impact and not just spreading a negative view in cyberspace.

Enter: the MAFMUMP movement. The Movement Against Fear Mongering and Useless Media Platforming, aka the best movement ever with the worst anagram ever. MAFMUMP. It’ll be big.

2.a. I realize I’m fighting a losing battle here and yes, I am using humour and irony. In many ways tho, I guess I’m waking up from Facebook sleep. I know social media has a huge impact and can have real-life impact if you are using it as a platform for a cause, BUT I’m declaring it’s not for me. Take that Internet. Your ill-researched, discreditable argument-mongering has no impact on me. hee hee. This is a fun and freeing stance to take. Join me! Join me! I know! I’ll start a movement on Facebook. Coming soon to a meme near you!

3. Deleting Facebook and Bejeweled Blitz from my phone now means that I can go almost a week without needing to recharge my phone.

blogspam

4. a. Buying and Selling online is a nasty business. I’ve said it before: If you are a personal sales consultant on Facebook, please start your own Facebook page for your new business. If your friends want to be alerted to all your new stuff, they will like your page. But some of your friends want to hear what’s, you know, REALLY going on in your life. And if the occasional promo is part of your personal page, fine, that’s cool. But flooding your friends with spam is not. Friends don’t spam friends. Ooo, there’s a new meme now!

4. b. Buying and Selling online is a nasty business. Think about it: Is it worth it to take pictures of all this STUFF and put it online and try to make $5? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. And another thing to think about: Do you really think that selling stuff even second-hand isn’t contributing to rampant consumerism? It is still creating an environment of sales and money spending – and if you want to do us all a favour, GIVE that stuff away instead of selling it. I’m talking to you double income, or even low-debt ‘in the black’ households. GIVE those hand me downs away. GIVE those old toys away to another family you know needs it. GIVE that pack of diapers, for crying out loud, to the struggling families with tiny babies who are worried about affording this stuff for the next two years. Do you really need to take $25 from your neighbour/sister/niece for a doll house your kids no longer play with that you know their kids are at the perfect age for? No. Come on. Nope. You don’t.

BUT I BOUGHT DESIGNER BRANDS AND WOULD LIKE TO RECOUP MY MONEY. Really? You spent that much on your kids stuff? Stuff they peed in and puked on and poked holes in ‘cuz it’s fun? Stuff that was probably not worth that cash you shelled out in the first place, and was probably made unsustainably, with child labour? Hmmm. You can probably guess what I think about that. They’re just CLOTHES, people.

BUT I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO DONATE?

  • Your local thrift store or Salvation Army
  • Your local mommy group is probably FULL of moms who would LOVE a garbage bag full of clothes or toys. Let them look through it and they can bring it to the thrift store if they don’t need/want it all.
  • Your local health services. Around here, South Eastman Health has a mommy/baby program for low income families or families without a lot of local social support. These families often have nothing in their fridge, and worry about formula and diapers constantly. Contact your local public health services and just ask. Can’t hurt. Or ask me.  I’ve heard they can’t formally accept donations, but if their case worker shows up with something, they will gladly take it. It’s kind of like covert-op good works. Fun fun.
  • Family programs and charities. Baby Blessings (Niverville or Winnipeg)Crisis Pregnancy Centre (Winnipeg)Anna’s House (Steinbach)Eastman Crisis Centre/Agape House (Steinbach), and more. Often these charities need a quick phone call to ask what they need or what they can accommodate for donations right now. Can you spare 2 min to phone and 5 more min to arrange a drop off, send some with a friend, get a group together to throw things in someone’s van who is going right by there.
  • Your friends and family. Even if they’re not in dire need, anyone’s kids’ wardrobe or play toys could use a boost of something new/different now and again. Ask someone if they want/need your stuff. It will make you feel SO good to see Baby so and so playing with something your own little one played with or wearing that one dress you hoped she wouldn’t outgrow so soon.
  • Did you know that the more you GIVE, the more it catches on? When did these Buy and Sell sites become so popular? If people who need money are selling for pittance and those who can’t afford much are buying for pittance, it’s really just sharing around a few bucks back and forth for no reason, right? I’m bringing sharing back… It’s just this culture don’t know how to act… Pinterest just shows you all the things you lack… Sharing feels good and it’s simple as that. Ooo, I’m on a roll!

5. Do something you can be proud of today. Do something that makes you feel good. Do something without your phone or without your computer. Invest in your kids, your family, your yard. Drink enough water. Bake something amazing. Point your eyebrows up and release all the tension in your forehead. Most of all though, don’t take this article, or any article online today, too seriously. Take a load off. And have a wonderful day!

6. If you liked this article, please SHARE on Facebook. Keep the MAFMUMP movement going! Or post MAFMUMP as your status for ONE minute today. Just ONE minute. One out of 300 people won’t do it and are too ashamed of MAFMUMP. MAFMUMP. Let’s see if we can occupy Facebook for a good cause that will actually have an authentic impact on today’s culture for about a minute. MAFMUMP.


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