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Shawn Magrath

Although unwilling at first because I thought it would be just another fad in a vastly changing world of technology, I finally caved and created a Facebook page a few years back. At this day and age, if you don’t have a Facebook page, there’s really no evidence that you even exist

Don’t get me wrong, I think Facebook can be great. I’m able to keep in touch with friends via Facebook who I’d otherwise never hear from again. A little less settling, I have friends I don’t really know (and worse, I have friends I don’t really like). But if there’s just one thing I really do hate about Facebook, it’s the messages that guilt – or at least, make the desperate attempt to guilt – people into feeling an obligation to repost that message and accompanying image. Example: “Re-post this if you want to end world hunger” (with picture of starving Ethiopian child); “Share this if you want to stop domestic violence” (with picture of woman with a black eye); “Share if you don’t want animals to be sold on CraigsList (with a picture of a sad looking puppy); and of course, my favorite, “Re-post if you love Jesus. Keep scrolling if you love the Devil (with bilateral picture of Jesus on the left side, Satan on the right).”

I get it, these are sensitive issues to a lot of people and my heart really does go out to the people affected (at least in most cases), but what is clicking the “share” button going to do for anyone? And if I don’t share, does it mean I’m an advocate of domestic violence and animal cruelty; that I have an apparent love of world hunger and I’m damned to spend the rest of eternity sitting with the Prince of Darkness? Of course not! So what’s the purpose of these pre-designed public service adds? I would hate to think that clicking the “share” icon is considered one’s good deed for the day – that sharing these messages somehow makes someone a good person. To me, they all have the same underlying message: “Share if you think it will make you feel less guilt.”