After last week’s horrific attacks in Paris, within minutes we could go to Facebook and find friends changing their profile pictures to reflect the Eiffel Tower and the colors of the French flag. Hashtags popped up on Twitter as many of us searched for ways to show our support and sympathy for those affected and for those still in harm’s way.
For the record, some of my friends changed their pictures, some did not. And like my “A lesson from Starbucks” column of last week, I don’t have a particular opinion either way.
Full disclosure; I didn’t make any changes to my social media last week, mainly because time was so tight that I could only wish friends “Happy birthday.” While I watched the news, social media wasn’t on my list of things to do.
After a few days, however, I did get the time to read some posts on the subject. Some were of the “this is why I am not changing my profile picture” variety, with the reasoning that changing our profile picture further pushes our culture toward a “feel good while doing nothing” mentality.
I understand this thinking, but I also see why someone would change a status or use a hashtag as a way to say, “I care” when there is very little else we can do. Few of us could go to Paris and offer assistance. Fewer could change policies in order to make the world safer. At least social media is a way to say something, anything.
But again, all of this got me thinking about all of us in the pregnancy help community. Fact is, we are doing something and we need more of us.
With the Planned Parenthood videos, with the life issue actually a part of the conversation (from time to time) in the race for the presidency, we have an opportunity.
Tweet This: #PlannedParenthood vids keeping #abortion in the conversation for #Election2016. #OutFundPP #prolife
When I check out Facebook or Twitter (I do when I can), a day doesn’t go by without seeing something regarding the sanctity of life. Maybe it is just my friends, but there are a lot of people out there who care about this issue.
And you know what many of them do? They post a picture, they share a meme or video, or they make a statement regarding the protection of human life.
When we see this, we can have an opportunity. Let’s engage.
We can Engage
The more I think about it, the more I realize that many who change statuses, make comments and post articles do want to get involved. Facebook pages and twitter posts are not always about doing nothing, but can be a reflection of a desire to roll up our sleeves and make a difference.
Yes, there are some who simply want to feel good about whatever the issue of the day might be. While this is frustrating, why not focus on those who actually want to change a culture and only need more insight on how they can be a part of a life-changing mission?
Why am I not more active in engaging these friends with a practical way to support life? For instance, the next time I see a Cecile Richards video, why not mention that one great way to put Planned Parenthood out of business is to expand the work of a pregnancy help organization?
(Here’s a good example of that happening down in Miami just this week!)
How hard would it to be for me to find a link to the donation web site for my friend’s local pregnancy help organization? Not too difficult, most of the time. And all I need to do is provide an action point, such as “A great way to end the reign of Planned Parenthood is to support this ministry” and provide the link.
By doing this, I’m opening an opportunity for those who truly want to go a step further.
In truth, considering Planned Parenthood, there are actually two ways to #DefundPP. One is through legislation, of course. But perhaps the other is to #OutfundPP through supporting pregnancy help organizations.
Fact is, if funding for our work swamped that of Planned Parenthood as we #OutfundPP, there is no telling what we might accomplish.
#DefundPP? Yes. It’s a great hashtag and I use it often. In fact, I’m connecting with a member of Congress on that issue this week.
Tweet This: Lets not just #DefundPP, let's go all out to #OutFundPP. #prolife #abortion @KirkWalden
But the next time I see a pro-life post on Facebook or Twitter, I might throw in #OutfundPP as well, with a link to a place they can give. For our friends who want to directly impact our culture, this may be the hashtag they need even more.
Kirk Walden is a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News, an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and author of The Wall. For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau.