I’m going to Australia for 25 months.
Ok, so I’m sadly not going to Australia. But apparently if I want to help raise awareness of breast cancer I should post that on my Facebook status. It’s a “really fun game” where the location is determined by the month of your birthday (December) and the number of months by the day you were born (yes, my birthday is Christmas Day). And most importantly you don’t tell any men. We need to keep them guessing!
In the kitchen.
That’s the colour of my bra and the current location of my handbag. Those are the other two games that have been on Facebook in previous years for breast cancer awareness.
I’m more than happy to share something if it’ll help fight a disease that kills as many people as cancer does. But I’ve never understood just how these games can help, especially when they deliberately exclude 50% of the population and don’t include any explanation of what they are.
I have a bit of a love hate relationship with Facebook. I’m still on it because its enabled me to get back in touch with some very good friends I’d lost touch with. And I don’t want to rule out the possibility of finding others on there in future. At the same time I get frustrated by the lack of boundaries people have on there – posting when they’re away, or pictures of their kids that may come back to bite them five years down the line. I’m very open in my blogging but I try not to post anything that would identify exactly where I live or where I am at any time.
I want to see what my friends are up too. I don’t want to read a status about someone off abroad for several months and not know whether to comment “hey that’s fantastic I’m really pleased for you.” Or if its a game I don’t know about trying to raise awareness. And I don’t want to be told I’m being harsh or a spoilsport if I refuse to take part in the games (which did happen last year).
If you want to raise awareness of a condition, great. But make sure your facts are right – don’t forget that men get breast cancer too and possibly need the awareness of that more than women do. And do something that might make a difference.
Because instead of a pretend trip wouldn’t it be better to post a link to a guide to breast self exams? Or being that most women know they should do exams but not everyone does (guilty!) what if we started a weekly reminder trending on Facebook instead – something like the #boobiewednesday hashtag that I used to see on twitter most weeks. True awareness might help save lives. Education is much more likely to.