Childhood cartoons on Facebook | Child abuse needs more than this

Cartoons from the '80s

Many Facebook users are using childhood cartoons as profile pictures, but real action is needed to end child abuse. Image: Flickr / akuchling / CC-BY

In yet another Facebook “cause” blast, users are changing their profile to pictures of cartoon characters. Cartoons from the 80’s and cartoons from the 90’s are proving most popular. This is a move intended to bring awareness to child abuse.

Pictures of cartoon characters as profile pictures on Facebook

“Change your FB profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal? To not see a human face on FB. Join the fight against child abuse. Copy & paste to your status to invite your friends to do the same.” This Facebook status has been making its rounds for the last few days. Many people are taking their friends up on this movement, using childhood cartoons from the ’80s and ’90s as their pictures. Popular cartoons have included Strawberry Shortcake, Mighty Mouse and Pinky and the Brain.

Childhood cartoons to fight child abuse

This is not the first time that Facebook profile pictures and Facebook statuses have been used to raise awareness for various issues. Often, there is a specific issue chosen for awareness. However, these status and profile picture updates often do not include any specific instructions for how to improve or take action on the issue. There are no specific statistics on how many people have changed their profile pictures to childhood cartoons, but there appear to be a significant number of people participating.

Action beyond childhood cartoons

Childhood cartoons from the ’80s and ’90s can be a great reminder of better times, but they don’t actually help end child abuse. Bringing awareness to an issue and taking action on an issue are two different things. While awareness is great, without some action beyond that, trends such as the childhood cartoons to fight child abuse idea are nothing beyond a shill — something that makes you feel good but doesn’t actually do anything. If you want to take action on childhood abuse, you need to do something other than find a cartoon from the ’80s to use as your profile picture. Try making a call or donation to support the National Child Abuse Hotline or at least including 1-800-4-A-CHILD in your Facebook status. Until you take real action, a childhood cartoon is just a picture, not advocacy.

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