Believe, me, I do. I really do. My heart physically hurts when I see or hear of anyone being mistreated or missing, especially animals and children. Aside from that, my mother told me, “If you can make just a little difference, then do it,” and I believe in that! And being that I am online a great portion of my day, mostly due to my line of work and the hours, I see a barrage of “Missing” posts with pleads of “Please share” that follow. It’s astounding how often I see this. It’s astounding how effective social media can be in bringing justice or bringing someone home.
It’s also astounding how quickly people just click “share” without thinking.
Granted, there’s a lot of information thrown at us in a very short period of time. So, yes, many of us are guilty of responding and commenting on headlines without reading the article first and just clicking, “like” and “share” based on our immediate impression. The good of it is that the practice does exercise our psyche, so we’re relying on our intuition more. And that’s great! Nothing connects us to our basic and natural form than the use of our satellite dishes.
The bad is sometimes we’re not so much relying on our psyches as much as we’re merely passing judgment. “Oh look at that nice guy, he’s posting a sign because he hasn’t seen his son in 20 years. He must really care – yes, I will share this picture so he can find his son.” Or, “Aaw, what a cute puppy. That person who posted the picture must be really missing their puppy, so yes, I will share…”
Yes, they mean well, Goddess bless them. However, many of them don’t stop to think:
- Is that the guy’s real name?
- Why hasn’t he seen this child in over 20 years?
- How do we know the mother didn’t run away from him because he was abusive?
- How do we know that’s his child?
- How do we know there really is a child and he’s just looking for the “mother”?!
- Is that the person’s puppy or is there a dispute between them and a neighbor?
- How do we know what that person is going to do with the puppy once they find it?
- WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!
I can go on, but you get the gist.
In truth, in a way, I’m actually kind of heartened by the “blind share” and “blind retweet” practices because it really does show that people are primarily good, something I’ve always believed. And it’s wonderful!
I just think we just need to be a little smarter.
I always like to help where and when I can. However, here are my personal rules for sharing or re-tweeting a “Missing” post:
1 – There’s got to be an 800 number listed for the local authorities.
2 – There has to be a real name and some kind of address attached.
3 – There has to be a mention of a police report filed.
4 – If I should look up the story in Snopes, I would find it to be true, if there at all.
5 – I do not share “looking for my real parents,” “looking for the child I gave
up for adoption,” or “just found out I have a kid” posts. One, because there may be a very good reason why you’re not in touch with your real parents to begin with and I don’t know what your motives are (are you angry with them, do you have abandonment issues?) and I don’t know your history. Two, again, I don’t know your history but I would hope that when you gave your child up for adoption you were doing what you thought was best for the child. So, perhaps you re-entering the child’s life may or may not be a such a good idea, so I’d rather not be a part of that. And three, if you just found out you had a kid, then why weren’t you told where your kid is? In fact…why were you just told?! Where have you been in their lives all this time?
I’m a sap. I love to see happy endings! I love to see harmony, justice, and people living in peace and safety. But, just as I know I can’t believe every commercial, every news report, or everything I see in the movies, I also can’t believe that it’s in everybody’s best interest to just believe everything you see on Facebook…
Especially for the one who may or may not be missing.