Why Pressing the ‘Like’ Button Doesn’t Actually Accomplish Anything


Social media can be a surprisingly useful tool in promoting social causes because it gives ordinary people a voice—and one that can reach global audiences in seconds. It certainly had a lot to do with how quickly the nation unified when Boston was bombed, and it arguably played a large role in raising such large amounts of money so quickly for those who were injured in the blasts.

But the flip side is that platforms like Facebook can inadvertently trick users into feeling like they’re accomplishing something when their interaction with it is to simply press the “Like” button underneath images or slogans.

It’s great to share sentiments, but as these pictures remind us, those don’t actually pay for recovery efforts, put food into people’s mouths or medicines into their bodies. And that’s the theme of this new—and gut-wrenching—campaign out of Singapore.

Crisis Relief Singapore, in conjunction with the agency Publicis, launched these ads as part of its series, “Be a Volunteer. Change a Life.” The copy on each picture reads: “Liking isn’t helping.”

The disaster photos are real, but the “thumbs-up” that surround them are Photoshopped in.

It’s no wonder that the ads were just recognized at the prestigious Cannes Lions Award Festival.

They’re a haunting reminder that while sympathy may be appreciated, it’s only real-life action that changes lives.

Would these images prompt you to take action? Let us know in the Comments.

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