Monthly Archives: September 2011

Facebook: The Home of Half-Assed Caring

I have volunteered at the OC Humane Society, walking dogs and picking up countless bags off dog poop. I raised more than $2,000 and walked 60 miles in three days to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I organized an event that raised almost $800 in one night for LifeHouse of Orange County, a group that provides food to homeless people. I adopted an old, deaf dog from Seal Beach Animal Care Center instead of buying a fancy one at a pet store. I have helped build a house with Habitat for Humanity. I have donated clothes, food, and money to benefit causes I care about. I donate blood every couple months.

I’m not telling you this to brag or to make you feel guilty, because baby jeezus knows that I could be doing much more. I’m telling you this so you can see what I HAVEN’T done: I haven’t changed my Facebook status or picture to “benefit” a cause or raise awareness about anything. Even I am not that lazy.

Seriously people, all the cryptic messages about bras and purses and pregnancy are just ridiculous. PLEASE someone tell me how tricking people into thinking you’re pregnant is going to help cure breast cancer. Do you even think about the fact that many women are not able to have babies BECAUSE of cancer? Way to rub it in assholes.What is being cryptic actually doing for the cause? I bet you wear pink in October, too.

And, really, you post a status about all the abused animals in the world, but you trot your little designer dog around on its fancy leash? Do you honestly think there is one person on your Facebook friends list that doesn’t know that animals are abused, abandoned, and alone? Whose life are you changing by telling me to repost something that doesn’t even include a link to donate or volunteer?

I'm cute, but I don't save abused children!

The WORST was the whole “change your profile picture to a cartoon character to raise awareness about abused children.” You have got to be kidding me. If you want to put up a picture of Rainbow Brite, I say more power to you, she’s rad, but DON’T pretend that you’re doing it because you give two shits about a child. You’re doing it because you think it makes your profile look cute and you want to join in the fun with all your friends.

Here’s an idea, go spend your weekends in a soup kitchen, read to seniors whose families have dumped them in a home, sew blankets and donate them to a children’s hospital. Actually DO something that positively impacts the world and the things you claim to care about.

I wish I could spend every second of my day volunteering. I wish I had millions of dollars to cure diseases and save children. I don’t, but I do what I can. And, yes, I CAN change something on Facebook to make my friends think that I am this fantastic person with a big heart. I choose not to follow the herd and do these meaningless things. I choose to quietly volunteer and donate. I choose to take action about the causes I care about. Try volunteering and tell me that you get the same feeling from being in the trenches that you do by posting some stupid shit on Facebook.

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Grammar Gripe: I’m Literally Going to Kill You

No I’m not, but, one would only realize this if they understood what literally actually meant. Turns out, most people use it to LITERALLY mean the opposite of what it does. Let’s review, shall we?

Dictionary.com

lit·er·al·ly –  actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy

fig·ur·a·tive – of the nature of or involving a figure of speech,  especially a metaphor

In plain language, by saying something literally happened you are saying this is EXACTLY what happened. So, I am going to make a few assumptions. By virtue of the fact that you’re reading this, you have never literally died from anything, including embarrassment, fright, or sadness; your head has never literally exploded due to anger; your heart has never literally been broken (With the exception of someone who is reading this and has had some sort of heart surgery, I will give you that one); and you have probably never even wanted to literally murder anyone. Now, shamefully think about all the times you have said those things.

Literally saved by the bell.

See what I’m going for here people? These things happen figuratively, but people think that by saying “literally” (often pronounced liiiiiiiiiterally) that they’re stressing how extreme the situation is. Doesn’t work that way. I read one today on a LinkedIn profile: “I literally fell into public relations.” Really? You fell into a big bucket of PR, did you? Honestly, as someone who works in PR, I can’t imagine using this on my casual Facebook page, let alone my professional LinkedIn profile.

Yes, I know what you are trying to do, but think about the fact that you sound like a blowhard illiterate. There, I said it! Knowing the definitions of words is part of being educated, if you don’t know the definition of a word, don’t use it. This is something I have to regularly tell the college students whose papers I grade. It’s embarrassing.

Next time you want to throw out the L-word, take a step back and imagine the scenario in your head as if it’s actually happening. If someone’s pants aren’t literally on fire because they lied to you, just leave the word literally out of the equation. It’s tired of being misused and figuratively is annoyed at the lack of credit we give him.