Today, a number of my friends, and other people across the country, changed their Facebook profile photos and statuses to reflect their support of equal marriage rights.
I am all for equal rights for everything, marriage or otherwise.
Here’s my issue however…how many of you who are posting these kinds of activism messages on Facebook actually get out there and do your part in your community? I know a number of you do, and that’s awesome, but for those of you who don’t, why not? Facebook is a wonderful way to share your feelings, lives, and photos with friends, but for the most part, the people you are friends with are going to have a similar life outlook to you. So it’s not surprising to me that many of my friends support equal rights, because they are my friends, and I like to associate with people who support similar issues.
But, in the real world, off the internet, and off of Facebook, are you proudly touting that same message? Did you vote this past election season? If you did, did you research your candidates fully, or just choose based on what party you thought you supported? Do you write to your elected officials when a vote is approaching? I’ve been writing to my elected officials for years. I still remember a while back writing to our State Rep when we were still in Massachusetts. The State House had recently begun to consider a breed ban, and I thought it was a bad idea. So I wrote to our local Rep. I had no idea where he stood on breed specific legislation (BSL), because it wasn’t something that had come up during his campaign, but I felt strongly about the issue. Well, shortly thereafter, I received a letter back from his office (maybe it was even from him personally, I can’t remember) stating that he also was against BSL and would not support any legislation along those lines. That added a point in his favor when the next election came around in my book. I’ve done it for other issues as well. I don’t usually get a response to my letters, but I know that I feel more active that I’ve sent them. Because I know that my voice is being sent to my elected official. And then I pay attention to how they vote on the issues that are important to me. Any politician can say they’re pro- or anti- an issue, but they can’t deny a voting record. So if an issue is truly important to you, educate yourself!
Know your local, state and federal laws on any subject you deem important enough to stand up for. And then do it more than on the internet. If you feel that gay rights is a hugely important issue, donate your time to a local group that supports gay rights. If you feel that gun rights are important, go to a demonstration. Whatever your issue, put your body where your mouth is.
Your physical presence (monetary as well, though I know that’s not always possible) is infinitely more effective than your Facebook presence. If you want to change the world, don’t just sit behind your keyboard and talk about it, do it.
And yes, I know this blog seems to be doing just that, but at least I can say I’m actively involved in supporting issues important to me. :-p