Sunday, August 21, 2011

This Just Pisses Me Off

This is a meme that has been circulating on Facebook recently:

May I ask a personal favor.....Only some of you will do it, and I know who you are. If you know someone who fought cancer and won, or fought cancer and died, or someone who is still fighting please add this to your status for 1 hour as a mark of respect and in remembrance. I hope I was right… about the people who will ♥

I am a "cancer survivor" who has both friends and family who have survived or no survived cancer--but this meme is not about showing them respect and remembrance so much as it is about the egotistical nature of whomever first posted this form of the meme, which is basically saying, "if you don't repost my message, you're obviously an asshole, and even though I'm your Facebook friend, I'm already judging you. And just in case you might call me out for being a jerk, I'm going to make this about cancer, so you can't."

I'm actually amazed anytime I see friends reposting this meme unedited. If you really care about cancer, great--it's as worthy a cause as any...but do you really want those first and last lines? You want to talk to your friends like that?

Those lines are add-ons, by the way-- the original post is an "if" statement. "If you know someone..." It's not inviting everyone to post, just those people who know people who've had cancer. So if you don't post, maybe you actually don't know anyone who's had cancer... that would be a good thing. But the add-on statement doesn't allow for that. The author hopes to be right "about the people who will (heart icon)." Which is saying that the author hopes that you know someone with cancer?

I equally hate the variant that goes something like this:

I know 97% of you guys won't put this on your wall... But 3% of my friends will... put this on your wall in honor of someone who died of cancer or is living with it.

What I want to say to the person who reposts this is:
This offends me. As a "friend" whom you are treating in a rude and deprecating manner, and as a cancer survivor you are using, without permission, to guilt other people into doing this random thing you want them to do. If some aspect of cancer awareness is an important issue to you, write something original that expresses that. If you have a message you need help spreading, ask me nicely. If you unthinkingly repost these exact words .5% of your friends may un-friend you altogether, and it will probably be me.


  1. Thank you for posting this. I've been seeing this meme and simmering in silence and it's good to know that I'm not the only one... it's that weird bragaddocio you see on college essays, like "Accept me because life is more importantly traumatic..." ech. Anywho, thanks for sharing. 100% agree with you.

  2. Yes, I was all ready to get my own rant about the guilt-trippy nature of this meme and the way in which it calls into question one's whole moral being... you are a bad bad person if you do not post this, who doesn't care about cancer! I know that when I see it worded like that, I immediately ignore it... or I change it.
    Thanks for posting and I'm glad you are a Survivor. You are a Strong person; a fighter(though, are you sure it is not because people posted that Meme all about Facebook?!) -- I hope that did not offend, but I just couldn't resist:)

  3. Anonymous2:24 PM

    thank you for giving peace to my conscience, seen it in one annoyin facebook wall and it was giving me a wrong guilt trip

  4. Thanks for this. I've just got another one of the 'personal favor cancer' jobs and they drive me up the wall. I happen to have lymphatic cancer but it would annoy me anyway. What's the point of it? And I agree about the intimation that you're an arsehole if you don't post. If they care about cancer, make a donation to a cancer charity for goodness sake.