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Las Vegas for 2 months ….Breast Cancer Awareness?

January 16, 2012

If you are female and have a Facebook account, you may or may not know from the title of this post what I’m getting at.

The new ‘breast cancer awareness’ round robin is back and this time it’s even more abstract and pointless than ever.

The idea is, you update your status with a place name, mapped to your month of birth and the day on which you were born is the number of months you’re going to spend at said place. Apparently, the last game about the bra colour or where you leave your handbag “made national news and reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise awareness”.

The great new addition this year is that you reveal your date of birth (not something that everyone wants to do) and make people worry that you’re moving away- what an innovative way of increasing awareness of breastcancer! Not to mention the fact that all of this must be kept secret from the men. Who can also get breast cancer. Didn’t think of that one, did you?

Seriously though, I’ve tried to see the point and have wracked my brains over how that message landing in my inbox and me updating my status accordingly is going to raise awareness of breast cancer in any other way than making me aware that breast cancer exists and confusing my Facebook friends. The conclusion: A headache.

Just as I am aware of breast cancer, I’m also aware that homelessness exists: I see homeless people all over the place in Berlin. It doesn’t however mean that I’m going to do anything positive to help those people unless I am given the opportunity / shown how. And that is exactly what is missing in this message. Where’s a link to somewhere I can donate? I know breast cancer exists. I have breasts. What does that mean for me?

Actions count. Updating your Facebook status does not.



On that note, here are some links for information on breastcancer prevention and further ways you can help raise funds:

8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2012 03:46

    This whole ‘raising awareness’ thing really annoys me, it’s slactivism at its worst. Most people are aware of breast cancer and around 50,000 women each year are made very very aware of it. Practical research into treatments is always going to carry far more value than bullshit stunts like changing your status on Facebook.

  2. @Slavkation permalink
    January 18, 2012 12:40

    I agree – it’s not as clever as Movember’s moustache (in Nov 2011 conveniently kidnapped by mobs of opportunistic hipsters looking for an excuse to grow a nice pair), but it still gets people to talk about breast cancer .. like YOU right here.

    It’s fair to say that just a ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’ as a FB status, or a statement, or ANYTHING really – wouldn’t get as much attention (including your blog entry). sad, but fact..

    If a significant amount of people participate in the status sharing, it starts trending via social networks, creates viral spreads and a reasonable media coverage (on + off line).

    Point is: More coverage – More audience – More spontaneous breast checks – More cases of breast cancer caught before they killed.
    Good, no? Point is – feel your boobies, girls : )

    Maybe the FB posting should just be that.

    p.s. the only problem with this is that men also get affected by breast cancer.. and THAT fact hardly seeks awareness

  3. Sophia permalink
    January 18, 2012 22:41

    Would you be talking about Breast Cancer and raising awareness with your useful links (as well as pointing out lesser-known info that men can get it too) if they hadn’t launched this obscure campaign? No, I think you would not have randomly written that blog.
    I’m sure the breast cancer charities (and beneficiaries) would like to thank you for supporting their campaign.

  4. Mama-L permalink
    January 19, 2012 09:44

    Thanks for the comments.

    I am by trade a marketeer so yes, the status / social media thing DOES work. But at the end of the day, this is not a clever, well-thought-out marketing stunt. It’s shit. It doesn’t lead the user by the hand to the places they can go to actually ACT. And that, my friends is my beef.

    Seriously, how many of the people who read the message/status updates are going to go away and donate / check their breasts? What was your first reaction to it? As Simon says, slactivism at its worst.

    Sophia: Yes, I wrote this blog post as a reaction to the hoo-ha on facebook but I also wrote this blog post
    and this one
    and neither of these were anything to do with facebook updates.

  5. @Slavkation permalink
    January 23, 2012 14:16

    Mama-L: Maybe it’s not a well-thought-out (campaign), but at least it’s not an offensive one, while your latest post is. And it’s a shame – not only it undermines your authority, but also opposes your appeal from Dec 11, 2011: “Be kind to eachother, people.”

    • Mama-L permalink
      January 23, 2012 15:45

      Sorry that you feel that way. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion and I don’t particularly feel that this post or my comments were particularly offensive.

      I also don’t think we know eachother in real life, which can make a big difference as to how things are interpreted.

  6. djbaker2 permalink
    September 25, 2012 22:55

    It’s better than nothing which is what most of the people usually end up doing. Labeling it slacktivism isn’t helpful. It’s just miserable, elitist, nonsense. If you’re so concerned it doesn’t provide people with somewhere to go and donate then comment and leave a link on the status. That would be a better use I’d your time than decrying it on here.


    • Mama-L permalink
      September 26, 2012 13:41

      Of course, I add to the facebook updates with advice on where to donate. What kind of a moron do you think I am?!
      And sorry, but how is it elitist to use the word ‘slactivism’?

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