Taking Inaction

"Only you can prevent child abuse with profile pictures" - Optimus Prime

The past couple of weeks have seen another hot trend on Facebook – changing your profile picture into a cartoon character from the 80’s or 90’s for some reason.

See, everyone thinks that they’re doing it to somehow prevent child abuse (which sounds insane when you actually read that sentence).  That’s like thinking you can cure a cold by looking at pictures of when you were healthy as a kid.

Before anyone gets completely riled up over me stating this, let me say clearly, child abuse is a terrible thing.  I was lucky I was not a victim, though there are many who were and it’s surely horrific.  But none of this is about that.

It’s just another stupid internet meme that people do for attention or to make their friends think they’re clever.

Like, “Oh, shit!  I remember Thundercats!  Is your picture Jem?  My friend made theirs Heathcliff!  LOLz!!!”

See?  That’s stupid.  That doesn’t prevent child abuse.  It really only encourages further idiocy.

And here’s another reason to not be mad at me…

Because you got duped in more than just the obvious way.

This stupid internet meme did not start to support or promote any cause.  I first saw it a couple weeks ago when it was merely a “game” on Facebook:

“NewGame: Change your profile picture to your favorite cartoon from when you were a kid. The goal of this game is not to see a human picture on Facebook, but an invasion of childhood memories until Monday. PLAY AND PASS ALONG!”

…and this:

“From the 12th to the 22nd of November, change your profile picture on Facebook to an image from a cartoon from your childhood. The goal of the game? Not to have a single human face on Facebook, but an invasion of our collective childhood memories for the time of a week. It’s up to you to take action and to forward this message.”

Eventually someone decided to insert the idea of a “cause” to make it grow…

“Change your facebook profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same, until Monday (Dec. 6) there should be no human faces on facebook, but an invasion of memories. This is for a campaign against violence on children.”

That’s when it really blew up and everyone started doing it.  You know, because who’s not against “violence on children”?

Whatever the hell that could possibly mean…

Is that adults beating up kids?  Kids beating up other kids?  Wolf on child violence?  Is it the rap music that’s attacking them?

It’s pretty hard to determine what that all means since the idea was thought up, and the passage written, by someone who probably isn’t very intelligent since it doesn’t make any sense…nor is it even proper English.

What’s next?  A broadcast message on Blackberry Messenger that tells me “Ur going to lose your contact list if you don’t forward this message.  This is from Blackberry.”

This stuff is honestly the dumbest shit I’ve ever seen my friends do, aside from when they watch American Idol.

Finally, someone wised up a bit and changed the “violence on children” section to “child abuse”, so that at least someone could detect what cause we’re even supposed to be supporting.

So now, after a few weeks of silly cartoon pictures on Facebook, we’ve come to learn that by changing our profile pictures, we’re somehow helping to prevent one of the world’s great evils?

This is nothing more than another way for everyone to pretend they’re being socially conscientious and doing something without ever lifting a finger, like praying for earthquake victims, for instance.

And please don’t tell me it’s all about awareness unless you went ahead and researched what can be done to prevent child abuse or bothered to donate to a charity that helps the victims of child abuse.

If your big contribution to the cause is changing your profile picture, you really don’t have a whole lot of standing to tell me I’m being mean by writing this.

“Aww…sorry to hear you were abused by your uncle, little 8 year old child.  You’ll be happy to know that I changed my profile picture on Facebook to The Lion King though!”

While we’re at it, I’ve figured out easy ways to solve more of the world’s problems:

– Want to know how to end the war? Change your profile picture to a fighter jet! Problem solved!

– Help end world hunger. Change your profile picture to the logo of your favorite fast food chain! Now you’re helping!

– Help cure AIDS! Change your profile picture to a famous AIDS victim. You’ve done it! Cured!

– Help end world poverty. Change your profile picture to a dollar sign. Bam! You’ve done it!  No more homeless!

– Help solve the mortgage crisis. Change your profile picture to a big, warm, cozy house that everyone can live in. Now you’re a CNN Hero!

– Help win the war against terror!  Change your profile picture to Osama Bin Laden!  You’re dismantling Al Qaeda as we speak!

– Stop global warming.  Change your profile picture to a picture of the sun, but burnt out!  Ahhh…I feel cooler already! I <3 icebergs!

There you go!  Don’t you feel, like, totally positive?


In case you want to actually do something, instead of pretending you’re doing something already:


Child abuse hotline. 1800-4-A-CHILD to report suspected


10 thoughts on “Taking Inaction

  1. ^
    “Cause let’s be honest, cartoons during my childhood were nothing if they weren’t violent themselves. Oh irony…”

    Well said sir.

  2. – Help solve the mortgage crisis. Change your profile picture to the Duggar house that everyone lives in. Now you’re a TLC Hero!

  3. I always love reading your blog it makes me giggle, favorite phrase from this entry “Aww…sorry to hear you were abused by your uncle, little 8 year old child. You’ll be happy to know that I changed my profile picture on Facebook to The Lion King though!”

    Having that been said, I did it, I changed my picture. Not because I think I’m helping any cause, but because it’s fun and I like to do fun things. 🙂

  4. Yeah. Same with the ribbon campaigns and poppies on Remembrance Day. They don’t help anything. Oh, and advertising too. Stupid people thinking that awareness of an issue/product will affect behaviour related to that issue/product. You know what? Let’s just stop talking. Talk is cheap, man. If we want to do something, we’ll just get out our wallets. Mission accomplished.

  5. that being said, the NSPCC gained 19,000 members in *one day* due to this action

    but hey, who cares about member-count in an organization against child-abuse?

  6. Oh really? I welcome you to post the source of that information since it doesn’t seem to be readily available on Google and the NSPCC has denied any involvement with the campaign.

    Have you been to the NSPCC website? There’s no “membership”. You can donate or volunteer, which is something you should do if you want to help.

    So yeah, I’m not sure anyone cares about member count, even if that was something.

  7. Very well said. I had one friend on my list actually change his picture to an actual abused child (black eyes, swollen forehead, etc). It takes the “awareness” factor up a notch especially when you see a horrific picture juxtaposed with cute little retro cartoon pictures. He, like you, also left links for people to donate money to child abuse victims.

    Everyone wants an opportunity to jump on to a cause whether it’s legit or not. I love that you pointed out how this phenomenon evolved from a GAME. I have no problem with a game but I have a real problem with people actually believing they are riding some “revolutionary rocket” by participating in a trivial activity on, perhaps, the most trivial website in history. Great write up.

  8. So I get it…you don’t like showing “support” for causes. YOUR into “action” I’m sure you never wore a yellow ribbon to “support” our troops, you actually went over and brought some of um home, and for that I respect you. Also, I’m quite certain you are one of the few that actually bust down doors and “rescues” children from getting beat down…only to be lost in the state “foster care” system, but for that, I still say kudos to You….but aside from all of your beautiful actual support I have a few things to say….first the NSPCC is a UK based agency, so sending them money not doing much for kids in the US…but even if it were based here in the good ol US of A, or if you are sending money to a US based agency, what are they going to do….Hotline? Really? Do you really think that truly abused children call hotlines to talk to a stranger about how they just got the shit beat out of um…cause the answer is no…they don’t…I would know….they are too afraid of what would happen to them or the abuser if they did, or from the abuser if they found out…Truth is, people abuse their children because they are stressed in their own lives, and the fact of the matter, is that most child abusers probably are not spending too much time on Facebook in the first place…but if just one person that was having a bad day logged on to their facebook account, and saw all of their friends had changed their pics to cartoons, and they were reminded of a simpler day, that even though they were getting their a$$ kicked when they were a kid too, by their abusive parent, they remember how they used to get their Thundercat on and escape from it all, then maybe that one person would get out of their own head for just one afternoon, and that one kid would catch one less beat down…or maybe they would realize that they are doing the same thing to their kid that was done to them, and make an effort to change their ways all together…so if this “campaign” did that to just one abuser, it was worth it, and if not, then who cares about how or why it started, it was awesome to see what cartoon your peeps most identified with…and was a way to see the more innocent (or in some cases sadistic) side of your friends, and was a beautiful thing…and oh ya…the “membership” count was on their FB friends list…thank you for your time…peace out…n stop beatin’ damn children so much…everything in moderation

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