The Trib likes it on Facebook only if it works

Editorial/Opinion by
McGill Tribune

If you’ve logged onto Facebook in the last week, you’ve likely seen at least one person with a status that reads “I like it on ______.”  Despite its sexual connotations, this status is supposed to refer to where a woman likes to put her purse, and is part of a viral campaign to raise awareness for breast cancer. While the intention behind this widespread meme is admirable, it does little to advance awareness of breast cancer or to motivate Internet users to donate money to the cause.

The link between where people like to have sex, where they put their purses, and breast cancer is non-existent. At least the bra colour campaign from last winter, which used a similar Facebook-centred strategy, was directly associated with breasts. This new campaign has absolutely nothing to do with breasts or cancer, which means people have to go searching to find out what the slogan means, and even then do not seem to go further than discovering the secret of the enigmatic Facebook statuses.

The campaign comes at a fitting time. October is breast cancer awareness month. However, by neglecting to include relevant, practical information, the anonymous organizers missed a huge opportunity. Most young women do not begin thinking about breast cancer until their doctor tells them it’s time to start getting regular mammograms. However, the disease does not discriminate based on age, and all women over the age of 18 should be conducting monthly self-exams. Facebook campaigns like this target the demographic most in need of this knowledge. In order to be effective, the status updates should have included a link to a website containing basic information on how to perform a self-exam, the importance of mammograms, and how to donate money. When people tried to figure out why their friend had seemingly shared their favorite sex location with the world, they should have been led to an informative website. Not everyone would have taken the time to read the page in its entirety, but if only a few people changed their behaviour due to the website it would be more effective than the current campaign.

The popularity and reach of this campaign proves that Facebook can be used for a more noble purpose than simply stalking your ex. However, it’s a waste of everyone’s time, effort, and attention if the strategy doesn’t include any easily accessible, useful information on the cause it’s attempting to promote.