If You Haven’t Had Cancer — Maybe You Should Reconsider Your Post About The Disease
As a 2X Cancer survivor, I have some strong opinions about the well-meaning and supposedly supportive social media posts I regularly encounter, especially on Facebook — often cut-and-pasted from one timeline to another. I am always asked to maintain the chain, and re-post the messages on my timeline. I never do. And I always respond to those posts in the same way. Just don’t do it. Refrain from this obvious virtue signalling and if you’re really interested in fighting Cancer, supporting those who have it, and their caregivers and families, then actually DO SOMETHING expressly for those cancer victims and their families. Call to talk, visit, prepare a meal, bring weed, support caregivers and donate to Cancer research. Post about that, if you must post. Make it simple: “Took a couple buds by my friend’s house today to help with their Cancer treatment. They’re doing better now.”
Wasting bandwidth on social media signalling your ‘concern’ does NOTHING — but can and often does trigger those of us who have had profoundly negative and stressful experiences with the disease. I’m not going to lie to you, my two cancers were the low point of my life and involved so much pain, suffering and uncertainty they left me permanently scarred — and with a diagnosed case of PTSD. How bad is it? The smell of the liquid hand soap used in the hospital where I spent weeks sends me straight back to the terror.
I’ve spent all morning today triggered and stressed by a well-intentioned post from a very well-meaning friend whom I admire and respect. But that didn’t stop me from firing back my usual response. Just don’t. Your post is meaningless, triggering, and does nothing but signal your supposed virtue, potentially at the expense real Cancer patients and survivors with real needs.
I got so worked up I had to write this post. Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I feel better — but I shouldn’t have had to go there in the first place. Maybe people will relate and share THIS POST instead of the useless and potentially triggering BS I keep seeing…
Just a reminder, here’s how the Urban Dictionary defines “virtue signalling:” To take a conspicuous but essentially useless action ostensibly to support a good cause but actually to show off how much more moral you are than everybody else. For example:
Fred: I see George has changed his profile picture to show his support for refugees.
Barbara: Has he donated money or time? Is he giving English lessons? Is he making a room available?
Fred: No, no, he’s just virtue signalling.