I happened to notice the trending topics on Twitter a few minutes ago, and right at the top was #PrayForChile. I clicked through to see what the context was, and why people were thinking so hard on the behalf of Chileans.
There was a rather severe earthquake off the northern coast that’s could have also triggered a tsunami. Forget donating to the Red Cross, let’s all band together and ask our imaginary friend in the sky to do something on our behalf.
One tweet jumped out at me in particular:
Lord, we pray for the safety of the people of Chile. Let’s put aside our differences and pray. Prayer can move mountains. #PrayForChile
— Kim Sam Fortin (@ikeim03) April 2, 2014
Did you get a group of people together once to pray for mountain to shimmy over a few feet? Did you all chant the same mantra in your heads? Did you do it out loud? What’s the threshold on prayers until a mountain moves? How did you determine that threshold was met? How did you even measure if the mountain moved? Did some guy stand there with a tape measure? Did that same guy nudge said tape measure by accident and everyone thought it was divine intervention? So many questions that I’ll never get answers to.
Prayers are the worst form of social activism. It’s even worse than tweeting hash tags or changing the color of your avatar for a few hours. You’re doing it all inside your own head, so you don’t even have the facade of spreading a message.
Unless you post about your prayers, of course, and then it comes back to the biggest problem I have with all of that shit. You’re shifting the focus back on yourself. “Hey, look at me doing this thing to help out. Aren’t I great?”
Then, those same people get all defensive when you call them out on it. “At least I did something. You didn’t do anything at all”
Actually, you wouldn’t know if I did or not, because I didn’t fucking broadcast it all over the internet for attention. Says the guy controversially bitching about innocuous bullshit for attention…
Then again, the tsunami warning was called off, guess your invisible pal stepped in after all. Good job, guys!