So I did a little social experiment, I guess you could call it. I did it solely for myself but decided to share the results here. I'm not going to make any conclusions or judgments other than what the title of this post is. Really, that's all it was, interesting and a little sad.
So, a friend of mine (a good friend) has been in dire financial distress, and appealed to the good nature of Facebook friends for help in order to survive the month. Having no money myself, I auctioned a couple of books to help. But, for my own amusement, what I did was post about the friend's troubles, and talked about the two-day auction I was doing to help her. I don't know how many people saw this post and didn't comment or anything. Within twenty minutes of posting this, I then posted a picture from lolcat.com. I don't usually post pictures from lolcat.com.
Results: Three people liked the post about a friend in distress, and I received one bid on the books (thank you very much to that person, by the way). The picture I posted from lolcat only about twenty minutes later received twenty likes.
My immediate thought in a nutshell. We constantly talk about helping one another, and it's great in theory, but just like Mildred in Fahrenheit 451, most of us would rather just look at lolcat than acknowledge that there's really something going on. When I see Facebook posts about compassion, helping others, or those grizzly pictures that are intended to give us perspective, I'm going to remember this little personal experiment I did.
As I said, interesting and a little sad.