The "I Like It On The..." Facebook campaign is this year's strategy for promoting breast cancer awareness , once again confusing Facebook users more than ever before. The phrase apparently is supposed to be indicative of where a woman likes to leave her purse when she enters the home. How provocative sexual innuendos that nobody understands are supposed to help create awareness for breast cancer, or even more, help us to identify with the horror of breast cancer, is beyond WakeUpWorld!'s comprehension. Read the National Post's Full Article
Robyn Urback: Facebook’s “I like it” campaign pointlessly sexualizing tragedy
Many unsuspecting Facebook users have logged in this month to the harrowing news that their sister “likes it on the floor,” their coworker “likes it on the kitchen table,” and their mother, perhaps most disturbingly, “likes it anywhere, as long as its out of my hands.”
No, it’s not Facebook-hosted sexual liberation revival, but a campaign to promote breast cancer awareness. The movement went viral after a message began circulating between Facebook inboxes, suggesting women change their statuses to indicate where they typically put their handbags once they walk in the door — which was, somehow, to support breast cancer awareness. Women soon began ominously posting that they “like it on the couch,” or “like it on the dresser,” while the rest of the Facebook world scratched their virtual heads and asked, “What gives?”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and last year played host to a similar campaign whereby women posted descriptions of their bra style and colour as their Facebook statuses. The idea again was to unite women for a pressing cause and keep men (*tee hee*) in the dark. That campaign, however, was at least loosely connected to the idea of breast cancer. While the ambiguousness of an out-of-context “black and lacy” Facebook post was paradoxical to the alleged intention of promoting breast cancer awareness, the region of the body, at least, was close enough.
But this month’s “I like it” campaign has virtually nothing to do with the disease that will be diagnosed over 23,000 times in Canada this year. Besides forcing a nonexistent link between breast cancer and where one puts her purse, the movement sexualizes a disease that is, as many can attest, not in the least bit sexy. Campaigns such as “Save the Ta-Tas,” which emerged in 2004 with svelte, good-looking models sporting skin-tights tees, have been similarly criticized for cheapening a very serious issue, but its mission, at least, centred around awareness and fundraising. The innuendo-laced “I like it” Facebook trend simply sexualizes an unsexy issue, to no favourable end.
Still, the provocative Facebook statuses make women feel as though they are making a difference, so it’s no wonder it has caught on so robustly. The problem is, the Facebook meme doesn’t do anything for the cause, and ironically may ebb motivation to actually go out and try to rouse some real awareness or fundraising. This is the exactly the type of “slacktivism” Malcolm Gladwell decried in his New Yorker column last week. Why would someone go out and organize a fundraiser, Gladwell asks, when weak-tie connections to online activism makes him or her feel like an actual difference is being made? The “I like it” campaign doesn’t ask much in the realm of effort from participants, so not only are they willing to post that they “like it right beside the door,” but they feel contented in believing that their status updates sufficiently contribute to breast cancer awareness.
Telling your Facebook friends and family where you drop your handbag has nothing to do with breast cancer. The sexual innuendo clouding the news of where you “like it” only trivializes the issue, and creates confusion that is paradoxical to the goal of spreading awareness. And while participants may feel as though they’re making a difference, they’re likely just sublimating any real effort to do so. Next year, rather than a status update loosely related to cup size or bedroom positions, how about link to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s donation page?
Robyn Urback is a Toronto-based freelance journalist. She writes regularly for Maclean’s OnCampus and for blogTO. You can follow her on Twitter at @robynurback or visit her webpage.
Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/10/06/robyn-urback-facebooks-i-like-it-campaign-pointlessly-sexualizing-tragedy/#ixzz11mvL4Y9W