I have another confession to make. I absolutely despise posts on facebook like the one above. Call me heartless, but I just hate how people exploit the aspect of going viral for seemingly selfish reasons. Maybe its the fact that I really want a puppy myself, but can’t have one that is subconsciously making me jealous. Who knows.
Point of the story: These kind of photos seem to have gained a lot of traction the past few weeks. I don’t have anything I would ever do something like this for, but some people get really creative. It’s humanizing the cold world of social media.
“Humanizing? What on earth do you mean? Isn’t the idea of social media human enough?”
No. Here’s a prime example of why these photos work:
The above photo is a former teacher at my high school alma mater. Even with my own hatred for photos like this, I HAD to post this. It’s not because I know him (never even had him as a teacher). It’s not because I feel obligated (because all my facebook friends are posting it). It’s because I’m human. In my experience, these posterboard messages gone viral are always playing off our deepest emotions: who doesn’t remember the feeling of wanting a puppy when they were young? In the case of this second photo, who doesn’t want to feel some sort of connection to your family; especially your own parents?
That is the reason these posts are working. Everyone, even the most cynical and mean have just enough humanity left in us that we want to help someone feel those same feelings we hold so dear in our hearts. I don’t think something like this would be possible before the ubiquitous facebook. Maybe a news story on the local network, but even that has limited reach. The audience for something like this is literally world-wide. Just by sharing the photo myself (which I did… because of the reasons above) this has now gained traction to a small demographic in southern Cameroon in Central Africa. I know at least one of my friends there has reposted it, and from there, who knows who else they know. I HIGHLY doubt anyone over there has any information worth contributing to this cause, but that’s besides the point.
The point here is the reach.
Across the world, in a completely different country and culture, people are sharing things like this; helping people they will never know. Why? Because we all still have a glimmer of humanity left in us. Things in current events can be frustrating and depressing, but we can all take a moment to think about the little glimmers of good happening across the interwebs.
I don’t know if Mr. Larson will ever actually find his biological father. But a quick share couldn’t hurt. If you wanna help, you can share the photo located HERE