A recent poll conducted by the staff here at Long Awkward Pause suggests that a whopping 95 percent of Americans (living within a one-block radius of LAP headquarters) either want to be — or already consider themselves to be — really cool. And not just because of their proximity to our office. I should point out that the other five percent are moving somewhere else because they are “tired of being asked stupid questions.”
Still, unless you’re a government contractor, the numbers don’t lie. And based on the results of this small but accurate representation of America, it’s clear everyone wants to be cool. In today’s social-media driven world, that means keeping up with and joining the latest causes trending on Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler
MySpace, posted in laundromats, etc.
Hey, anything that raises awareness on important issues is a good thing! Everyone agrees on that! (At least everyone within a one-block radius). The problem is that the coolness-by-association factor that comes with supporting an issue is becoming more important than the issue itself. Especially when there’s a celebrity involved.
We aren’t saying legitimate issues, such as educating people and raising awareness about domestic violence and racism, don’t deserve our support. But clicking a “Like” button and having it show up on a Facebook profile shouldn’t be confused with actually becoming involved. That’s like saying because you are a white student who prefers the term “chalkboard” to “blackboard” it means you are doing your part to end racism.
Or that, after spending a week with friends touring Madagascar during spring break, you have a deeper understanding of what it’s like living in a poverty-stricken country.
Keep in mind that while there are those who simply join causes as a way to look cool by riding the wave of whatever issue happens to be trending, there are others who are sincere in their desire to help but, due to a lack of actual life experience and having no common sense, are oblivious to what constitutes a real issue. Often, these people are young celebrities using their status to bring attention to a lesser-known plight, such as an endangered species of mosquito, or a grassroots movement to end excessive goat milking in Qatar. Though their intentions are good, the message tends to get lost during moments like this:
While it can certainly be annoying listening to Ariana Grande or Demi Lovato plea for your help in changing the lives of hairless Chihuahuas by donating your old wigs and toupees to “Pelo for Perros,” you can’t deny that they are at least getting out there and doing something about the issue they support. So for that reason, they deserve at least some measure of respect.
That leave us with the Posers: Those attempting to be cool by jumping on the bandwagon of whatever issue happens to be trending. As a service to our readers, we have assembled a list of three things that will quickly help identify a Poser:
1) They will perform any stunt in support of a cause if it means potential YouTube views…
2) Their Facebook and Twitter pages often include images of themselves having a great time while apparently “supporting” their cause…
3) When asked about what inspired them to support the cause, it quickly becomes apparent they really have no idea what they are supporting…
With election season approaching, the number of Posers on the Internet pretending to support trendy causes is only going to increase. Utilizing these helpful tips should help identify these seasonal Posers. If you’re still unsure, feel free to stop by our offices at Long Awkward Pause and we’d be happy to take an official poll spanning an entire one-block radius.
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