Monday, December 6, 2010

Some thoughts on Facebook profiles, cartoon characters, social movements and healthy child development.

What does changing your Facebook profile have to do with healthy child development, recognizing that when all children don't an have equal opportunity for growth and development we put our future as a society at risk or preventing child abuse and neglect before it ever occurs? Because you may have heard that there is an effort, some are calling it a movement, encouraging people to change their Facebook profiles to cartoon characters to raise awareness about abuse. What might this accomplish though, maybe nothing, and yet when an effort like this becomes part of the national chatter, is highlighted at Mashable, encourages individuals and businesses like First Day Entertainment to use this effort to raise funds on Facebook themselves, or even leads to the resulting, inevitable, rumors that something more malicious must be at play, we need to take a moment and recognize that this an opportunity for dialogue, and this is an opportunity to raise awareness, and not just Prevent Child Abuse America, though we did not start this campaign, but all of us, because we can all learn more, we all can be messengers for this cause and ultimately we can all take action. We at Prevent Child Abuse America know that focusing on innovative programming that lays the foundation for children's later growth and development reduces the possibility of more serious problems from occurring later on. We also know that there is all kinds of innovative programming happening in communities like yours right now, activities focused on home visiting, sexual abuse and Shaken Baby Syndrome, and so imagine what we could accomplish if we took this programming to scale? We can, but it starts with learning more, and continues by ensuring that these programs exist everywhere, and for everyone. We can all play a role in ensuring this happens, just as we can support new parents, our neighbors and the communities we live in. So, please visit our website to learn more about this issue and ways you can take action, as well as, those of our signature program Healthy Families America and our chapters across the country. Also, please remember that movements happen just like this, something small gets sparked, it makes us want to be part of something larger than ourselves, and it leads us to learn more and take action. Maybe this effort can be the start of a movement too, it's possible isn't it, it is, and that would be something, wouldn't it? Yes it would.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

It helps about as much as wearing a red ribbon helps to stop the spread of AIDS or a purple ribbon for domestic violence. Since everyone associates the cartoon avatars with the child abuse issue, people are forced to think about it for half a second eiter consciously or subconsciously. People are really getting down on those who did this, as if any meme matters that much at all.

A Maui Blog said...

Good thoughts and well said. I just shared this post (link) on my FB profile.

Aloha,
Liza

Prevent Child Abuse America said...

Thank you both for your thoughts and taking the time to read this. And thank you Liza for the re-post, much appreciated.

Ed Spencer said...

Many thanks to Prevent Child Abuse America for their efforts to stop child abuse. I mentioned this previously in my personal and business facebook page, but if you want to DO something about it - then DO something.

Raise money for Prevent Child Abuse America, Prevent Child Abuse Florida, or other local charity that will help stop and prevent child abuse. And if child abuse isn't your charity of choice, then the Salvation Army, Red Cross, local food banks, churches, and other groups need help.

Get involved. DO something. Not just because it's Christmas or the holiday season. But reach out throughout the year and do what you can.

Remember, even if it's something small - it adds up... and together we can make a difference.

Anonymous said...

The silly facebook bandwagon thing actually prompted me to search for and find the Prevent Child Abuse America website (I decided to help locally, not really sure why), and I donated money to the cause. Not an earth-shattering donation, but it was my first donation to a charity.

So from my point of view, it worked.

Cheryl L. Daytec-YaƱgot said...

There are entreaties for us to change our profile pictures into those of cartoon characters to support the campaign to end violence against children. This is ill-advised. What many fail to realize is that a lot of cartoon shows are purveyors of the culture of violence. Many of them advocate subliminal as well as categorical campaigns for violence (Think "Naruto," "Bleach,"and "American Guy.") Some of them are funny, but they teach children (how) to be deceitful (Think "Tom and Jerry," "The Simpsons" and "Spongebob.") Some of them instill the consciousness that girls (women) are inferior to boys (men) and that the former's salvation is in the kiss of the latter (Think "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Snow White."). So before you even think of changing your profile picture into a cartoon character, weigh if you are doing the campaign against violence against children any good.

Jessika said...

I'm withdrawing my support of the cause as of now. Not because preventing child abuse isn't a noble, even life-saving goal, BUT I refuse to have it more or less dictated to me what I should or should not do to have been considered to be one of those who stood up to be counted.

Support comes in many ways.
And although child abuse is a very real and critical problem more and more things are being deemed as abusive. Everyday things and actions are being deemed as dangerous, possibly abusive.
That together with the crying of wolf makes me withdraw.

Anonymous said...

I am a survivor of extreme abuse. Read my blog titled What I Learned From my Dad at http://stillwalkn.wordpress.com and my brothers comment to learn why child abuse is called THE CRIME THAT KEEPS ON GIVING. Many people have no idea. Awareness must be raised. Parenting must be taught in high school. Children MUST be listened to and every adult needs to take responsibility for protecting them.

Roseanne

Anonymous said...

thanks for your voice in this. I think your right if it gets people thinking its good, but we need to move beyond thinking to action. stuff like this gets us talking, but we need to do more than talk. I posted it to my wall.

Anonymous said...

In my person experience all it has done is make people talk about cartoons. "Oh what a cute Tweety bird you have on your page, do you like my Tigger?" "What cartoon is that?" No one is talking about the real issue. If everyp person who changed their profile picture donated one dollar to a foundation it would have a greater impact.

Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

In truth, there are thousands of children who's lives are changed forever each day. I am an adult survivior of sexual abuse and believe it's essential to spread the awareness exponentially around the world. I extend my gratitude to all of the people that helping to prevent Child Abuse America for their efforts to stop child abuse.

Linh said...

A movement like this may have done more to children than just dollars. It encourages people to take a look back at their own childhood, be child-like and innocent again and ,therefore, move to help other children.

someone in the usa said...

succuessfully shared and agreed i myself spent some time in a childrens home and have seen alot of stuff and heard alot of stories and have some experiences of my own as a child i cant think of a more simpler thing to do, to make an effort to support such a good cause

i will remain anonymous here because of my past issues and not wanting to make it public kknowledge on facebook as i myself hold no resentments and know that my parent(s) did the best they knew how to do at the time they did it and got the help needed to better themselves,

as i got the help i needed to better myself and understand what happened and why we all have issues and we all should find a way to work past them but not forget what happened because the old saying monkey see monkey do is a likely senerio the cycle has to end somewhere so why not with you & I!!!!

thank you to all the supporters of this cause may god as you understand (him/her/it) bless you always

DTK said...

As one who has worked wth abused children for many yeas - think anything that can bring awareness as well as get people talkng as good. I thought of this campaign as an excellent start to a sounding board w/friends.

Anonymous said...

Nobody who runs this sort of campaign online expects the posting of a status update or changing of a picture to have any real, tangible effect in 99.9% of people who participate, let alone simply view it. Neither do they expect it from the wearing of a ribbon, although the sales of paraphernalia can generate funds.

The point of such campaigns is to raise awareness, both to inform previously unaware people of a cause, and a reminder to those who are already informed.

The sheer volume of viewers is the crux - when reaching 10 million people, even 0.01% effectiveness becomes worthwhile. More so when the "cost per contact" is 100% FREE.

Seeing a ribbon, pin, pen, wristband or social media update reinforces the awareness, and the hope is that such a reminder will jolt the viewer into taking a real life action in support of the cause. However it will only do so in those people who would otherwise actively support the cause.

I reject the idea that these types of campaigns make little to no difference, particularly in social media. Free viral advertising generates awareness, and awareness generates action.

I am part of a community action group myself, and this type of campaign has given us over 20% saturation of our intended audience, resulted in over $80k in fundraising, and prompted dozens of people to volunteer their time to further the cause.

Without this kind of campaign, how else would half a dozen regular citizens ever hope to garner such support in just a few months, devoting only a few hours a week and with no financial input?

You cant tell me it doesn't have any real effect!

Anonymous said...

While I don't think changing a picture to a cartoon will stop child abuse ,if even one person is helped it is worth it! If one person knows they are not alone then at least talking and sharing brings the evil of the abuse up front into the light. In case you were not aware that is how evil hides in the shadows by all of us keeping it a secret. If one child stands up or one adult says no and goes to a shelter then it was worth the 3 seconds it took to talk about STOP ABUSE! Get help please!

Sara said...

Reposted to my Facebook profile to those who told me it was stupid and pointless. :)

Anonymous said...

it is now surfing fb that the 'campaign' change your profile picture to a cartoon character was set up by a grp of pedophiles??

wanderjahre said...

Clearly, or at least one would hope clearly, anything in any quarter that beneficially raises the profile of the cause is good. In this case it was something simple for Facebook people to do. But in doing it the hope is, that for some, the cause will become more important that the action. The campaign was sufficiently widespread for hoax rumours suggesting that it was orchestrated by paedophiles to spring to life but popular enough for a significant number of my FB friends to make the change. The hows and whys are not important only the outcome - thousands of people remembering how children can suffer - matters. Well done to whoever started this and I am adding the OP to my FB page.

dinah said...

I am a 64 yr old senior citizen who was a victim & still a victim of a horrendous child abuse, spouse abuse from the age 1 to my last marriage which ended May 31,2008 when my husband/partner died of a horriffic cancer...this man was a good man but he changed and became a very emotional abusive man during his latter yrs when we got back together...I have knife marks from my abusive grandmother, hand scalled from hot water poured over my hand at age 5 for having to get up and go to the bathroom, back then child abuse had no protection, no police would interfer if they did not see it happen...I am a victim of incest, rape, and I had NO help until the age of 53...I learned to deal with it by myself and my late husband until he turned on me..on his dying bed he asked for forgiveness & I gave it because I didn't want the burden of having to live the rest of my life in the past....I applaud anyone who stands up for a child, woman,man who can walk away from everything to try to start over, but the help begins when someone listens and validates what is being said is true...I have seen to many innocent victims of human bashing to get even to someone who is innocent but those who aren't put them away or let the abused have power to vote to change the image there are so many who don't believe it happens until it happens to them, and children have no voices, we have to be the voices for them....stop abuse period of children, elderly, animals yes animals they are innocent and can't fight back either just as an elderly person is terrified of being homeless they will put up with the abuse...I finally at this stage of my life have found a family who has "adopted me" and given me a home for life as my own family refuses to help me as they don't believe the history of rape,incest...I will gladly stand up and tell my story to anyone who wants me too....I am no longer a victim, I am a strong woman who is NOT afraid of what mere public figures can do to me....Diane Greer

Ron said...

Anytime we can get people talking and raise the level of awareness, it's good press no matter what the forum. I see victims of abuse on a daily basis and if cartoon avatars starts a discussion, then so be it. So many stick their heads in the sand and pretend this doesn't exist until it hits home. Thaks God for raising the level of awareness for this worthy cause, even if it is by Facebook avatars.

Chaan Franck said...

Dear Readers,

I have no connection with PCAA, because I live in South Africa, but I do have STRONG connection with your PASSION: Children!

The reason why I changed my profile pic is, although I am aware of child abuse, it does not mean that my FB friends are aware. A visible gesture creates awareness, awareness can lead to action and making a difference!

I tend to think the Profile Pic initiative, whoever started it, created a wave, no matter the size now, it can grow! I sincerely hope this wave will see a few good surfers embracing it...

a passionate mommy from Pretoria, South Africa

Anonymous said...

We Are all children in adults skin and we are abused by those huge economical systems that eating us from inside out day in day out. who is going to adapt our cause?????

Anonymous said...

I have read this post and agree wholeheartedly. But it does leave me feeling sad. I live in the heart of England and read in the newspaper of a woman in South Carolina who allowed her 18 month old son to be hung upside down whilst teenagers used him as a punch bag - her comment - they were play wrestling. I felt sick at the thought. This should be front page news not a small piece in the middle. I will be notifying the said paper of my thoughts on this.

Anyway, many of my Facebook friends have already changed their profile but then I heard that some unscrupalous people are useing this campaign to gain access to childrens photos so I am not going to.

I think we should encourage the press to make all cases front page news - then again would we become complacent???

Its difficult - all we can do is our best.

Queen of Nuffink said...

I would feel better if it was for child abuse but it was originally a game for childhood nostalgia game run in november that the cause got slapped onto as an after thought.

That part bothers me as a survivor. I understand the intentions of the people are good but the very half arsed way it was done hurts.

stephanie said...

Maybe the movement should have been to change your picture to the logo of change Child Abuse America. Now that would be a message.

stephanie said...

Maybe the movement should have been for people to post the Prevent Child Abuse America logo as their profile pictures. That message would be clear!

Anonymous said...

Reposted! Thanks for the blog thoughts....

Anonymous said...

Well I was told that this is a scam by pedophiles to get children to add them to their sites. It was on the news and I think it is sick and wrong to do to children.

Anonymous said...

I guess we can't trust anyone anymore so sad.

Ol Cranky said...

at the very least, maybe, the meme encouraged teenagers and/or their parents to consider how public a lot of info on FB is. Despite that amount of press discussing the negative impact some users have faced because they either intentionally keep most of their FB info public or don't have the sense to restrict access, many people (not just minors) do not set limits on who can see or comment on their info. Perhaps encouraging some of these people, especially minors, to restrict access and change the profile pic to something that anonymizes them to some degree will make them a more difficult target for those with nefarious plans.

Deb S. said...

Anything that stops people for 1 second to think about preventing child abuse is a good thing. The more people who publically acknowledge that child abuse is not acceptable, the easier it will be become to report it and the easier it will be for victims to seek help. If tolerance for this behavior is not acceptable, maybe even the perpetrators will stop and think before acting. Bravo to anyone and everyone who contributes in anyway to state, "this is not acceptable"!

Anonymous said...

I just a little while ago found out the reason behind the cartoon pics (this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTcz1Q2EYwk)
until now all I saw was cartoons and "change to a cartoon blah blah blah child abuse blah blah blah". no video, no links, no explanation of how cartoons are supposed to help. I'm not about to do something like this just because "everybody's doing it" without knowing why, and I don't want to *pretend* to be helping. if the idea was to get people to donate to this org or a similar one, then as far as I know it's a failure since no one seemed to know that. slacktivism is just annoying.

Anonymous said...

consciousness is huge...awareness can make all the needed changes

Anonymous said...

I participated because it stirs in my heart. I live in Utah and my heart still aches for little Ethan Stacey and the abuse he went through before his death. Any attention or thoughts of these stories and abused children are a memorial to them and I think it doesn't matter about the cartoons as profile pictures... it's the thoughts of good people who want to make a difference that count.

By the way, that huge run on sentence in middle there was extremely confusing to follow.

Anonymous said...

Go to the following link for more information about hoaxes http://thatsnonsense.com/view.php?id=1124&keywords=Facebook Profile Pics Being Changed to Cartoons Basically, pedophiles did not start the cartoon profile pic "movement" someone just said they did to get a rise out of people and make good hearted people second guess themselves. What matters is not who started it but what you believe it to be and what actions you will take. Sometimes good can come out of the darkness.

Anonymous said...

In all honesty, the last thing I expected to do when I logged into FB - was think about child abuse. However, the status updates and cartoon avatars caught on and got me thinking about it. Which is a lot more, than what would have occurred if this meme hadn't spread.

From reading other comments, it appears as though this meme did spur some people into action. This campaign has helped, even just a little bit. Some people are just so ungrateful, to not even recognise every little bit helps. No matter how small.

Nelly.

Emily said...

All it did was remind me that everyone else had a childhood and I didn't.

Audrinna said...

I have been abused severely as a child and adult. there a lot of people don't believe or refuse to believe that abuse don't happen.when people read my story they would ask is this a true story? yes its true I wish it wasn't maybe I would have been a different person.so thinking that changing your facebook or wearing a ribbing want help your wrong,it will being awareness of abuse it want stop it but it will let people know that there a Child being abused every day. and maybe the same child will know we care
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Jenny said...

My response to the rumor that the idea was set up by pedophiles was that parents need to monitor younger children's computer use anyway. As a parent and a grandparent I know how tempting it can be to let the media, whether tv, internet or video games, take over for a bit especially when you are busy or tired, but we need to be aware of the influences our children are exposed to. I agree with the comment that parenting should be required curriculum in high schools. I also think that other life skills, like relaxation, managing difficult emotions, how to stay safe and how to seek help can be taught, at age appropriate levels, from kindergarten on. Of course this is most effective with parent and community involvement and support. I know this phrase has gotten a lot of use in the past decade, but it really does take a village to raise a child...and there is no one single solution to child abuse prevention.

car donation said...

Changing our profile picture in Facebook is just one of many other way to make people aware for the Child Abuse happening around us. But involving ourselves to every charities will be a better idea of finishing Child Abuse around the globe.

car donation said...

It sees that many are concern about this issue of child abuse. And yes its true that it increase the awareness about abuse.