In a world where social media sites are the most common and popular ways of communication, the campaign, Crisis in Singapore, Liking Isn’t Helping, seems to be going after Facebook users for not doing more about the unfortunate events that have affected the people of Singapore. The campaign depicts images of small children who are in life threatening situations, such as war, floods, and earthquakes, while people stand by them with their thumbs up, as if they like what they see. This action is very similar to the very well-known Facebook thumbs up symbol. What the campaign tries to do by showing these images is make people feel guilty for not doing more to aid in the crisis. Clicking the Like button, on what is seen online and on social media sites, isn’t enough. We must do more to get involved.
I for one, agree that liking and/or sharing a post on social media sites, whether it is a video recording, an image, or even plain writing, does not do enough to help in a crisis. Even though sharing and posting these types of images does help spread the word that something is happening, I feel most people overlook it and turn away. Clicking like on something we see online but doing nothing about it is a major problem in our society.
Sadly, both the refugee and financial crisis surrounding Singapore is a heartbreaking truth that shouldn’t be ignored. It breaks my heart that people can sit back and allow things like this to go on. I wouldn’t be able to handle seeing this happen right in front of me, and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t help my fellow man. Yet in the weirdest sense, I, like so many of us, continue to keep clicking the like button even with the understanding that more must be done. We feel safe behind our screens and in our bubbles of plausible deniability. We can be a beacon of hope and comfort whether the tragedy is here or a thousand miles away. Even if we are seeing it from a distance, we as a humanity need to be involved.
With all of the things that are happening in other countries, it is easy to find oneself languishing in complacency. Especially if we have limitations; lack of funds, family and work that hold us back. In today’s society, it’s not easy to just get up and do for others, especially if we are nowhere near the crisis. We can handle seeing negative images, videos, and even the news from behind a screen, and it may never really affect us, until it is happening to us. Once it hits us personally, and it’s a part of us then it becomes our reality.
In fact, there are many wonderful organizations that are helping Singapore, and just about anyone can participate. Here are a few sites I found online that have offered their services to aid in the crisis; Mercy Corps TWA Singapore’s Fundraising Campaign, SACAC Counseling, and Singapore Red Cross Society. Each of these organizations offer a variety of different services to help Singapore. For instance, MercyCorps managed to raise $650, for the earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, but ended their campaign in June 14th, 2011. Their goal was to raise enough funds to help survivors meet immediate and long term needs. (TBWA\Singapore’s fundraising page for Help Survivors of Japan’s Earthquake,” 2011). SACAC Counseling opened its doors in 1973, they offer the people of Singapore counseling services to help them through the difficult time. The Red Cross started a celebrity fundraising campaign “Because We Are One” created by the Singaporean celebrity Kevin Ou to also help in the aid. Where Black and White images were featured and put on sale.
A study performed on 743 university students who use Facebook was done to see the behaviors of why people click the “Like Button”. What they found “Conformity refers to the phenomenon by which an individual who is under the influence of a group changes his/her behavior or mind about something in order to follow the most popular opinion, even though that opinion may be wrong (Lascu, Bearden, & Rose, 1995; Mowen & Minor, 1998).” That alone shows that we need to stop focusing on being behind the screen and get out there to help and offer our services. We should do more to help people from all walks of life, near and far. We can raise awareness, start a campaign, raise funds, and talk to people to see what is needed in Singapore.
Liking an unfortunate event, crisis, or disaster online is unacceptable. We have to do more for the world. I believe we were born to make a difference, even the quietest person has a job to do. As human beings we must take responsibility for our actions and help in any way we can. We must do more to help the people in need.
Crisis in Singapore, Liking isn’t Helping. Publicis Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.publicis.com.sg/work/case/war-1/
Chin, C., Lu H. P., Wu, C. (2015, May 1). Facebook Users’ Motivation for Clicking the “Like” Button. Social Behavior & Personality: an International Journal. doi:10.2224/sbp.2015.43.4.579 Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.oclc.fullsail.edu:81/ehost/detail/detail?vid=18&sid=76fd7243-c2bc-4bb8-93ea-24b0fb5cc8c5%40sessionmgr110&hid=116&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=pbh&AN=102849525
Crisis Response. (n.d.). SACAC Counseling. Retrieved from http://www.sacac.sg/crisis_response
Singapore Red Cross Society. (n.d.). Red Cross. Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org.sg/press_releases/because-we-are-one-campaign/
TBWA\Singapore’s fundraising page for Help Survivors of Japan’s Earthquake. (2011, May 12). MercyCorps. Retrieved from https://www.mercycorps.org/people/tbwa-singapore