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Feeling a little uncomfortable about all this virtue signalling

(90 Posts)
GillT57 Thu 28-Dec-17 12:47:46

It could be me, being a bit pah humbug, but......on our local Facebook page, just before Christmas, there were many posts from people announcing that they had just cooked a big roast dinner which they were going take out and give to the homeless people living in our town. One woman was saying that she felt her daughter (8) was acting in a selfish manner and so she planned on taking her out to see all these poor people living in shop doorways to illustrate how lucky her daughter is, and they were going to be taking food and drink with them. These announcements were followed by the usual 'well done, hun' and 'oh, how kind' etc, etc. My thoughts are that the woman with the daughter was totally out of order; the people living on the streets are not characters in some Victorian morality play to be used to illustrate how fortunate some are. Also, why announce to the FB world that you are going to cook an enormous Xmas dinner and take it out on the streets? There are charities working away, quietly, and efficiently, every night of the week,every week of the year, not just at Christmas helping those who need it, and surely that last thing they need is people turning up with tons of ready cooked food which will likely end up being binned? Surely it is better to quietly donate to those charities who know who needs what and when, charities who don't want a lot of people taking photos of themselves being lady bountiful? I don't know if this makes me a grumpy old woman, but it really annoyed me.

OldMeg Thu 28-Dec-17 12:51:04

I totally agree Gill and it’s not just on FB either.

grumppa Thu 28-Dec-17 12:55:46

Well said.

MissAdventure Thu 28-Dec-17 12:56:13

I can't stand that sort of thing..

Grandma70s Thu 28-Dec-17 13:03:32

I know at least two people who make sure I know what they give to or do for charity. I always wonder why they don’t just do it and keep quiet.

NannyTee Thu 28-Dec-17 13:07:28

Yes. To put it on fb is glory hunting.

janeainsworth Thu 28-Dec-17 13:19:23

Totally agree gill re taking cooked food directly to the homeless & the inappropriateness of the 8 year old mother’s behaviour.

But.... there is an argument for raising awareness via social media.
If you donate to a charity via Justgiving, eg someone you know is running a marathon in aid of something, at the end of the process you’ll be asked to share it on FB and/or Twitter, on the grounds that statistically, every shared story results in a 50% increase in donations, or something like that.
Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. If I do, I tend to get told off by MrA for ‘virtue signalling’ confused

Nannylovesshopping Thu 28-Dec-17 13:35:17

I think Facebook is only about bloody showing off all the time!!

westendgirl Thu 28-Dec-17 13:36:44

My travel insurance expired after a birthday and now I am looking for a new one which will not charge an arm or a leg and will not expect me to jump through their hoops just because I am getting older. I am not likely to dive from balconies, nor need hospital treatment because I swam after drinking too much.

MawBroon Thu 28-Dec-17 14:05:52


BlueBelle Thu 28-Dec-17 14:21:08

Fb has been good for me I have organised a reunion and met many many school friends through it I would have had no chance of ever finding them without FB ....I buy and sell the grandkids surplus toys books etc without fees and I ring my son and family in NZ every weekend totally free thanks to fb Of course it depends what friends you have on your account and what pages or groups you belong to
I certainly agree with the original post but I don’t think’ that just happens on fb and I have seen all the sycophantic ‘well done hun’ posts and I m not comfortable with them either but they are only a small part unless you visit lots of loc al groups away from your friends and relatives

Iam64 Thu 28-Dec-17 14:24:34

Thanks BlueBelle. I joined facebook after I retired and found it's been great for keeping up with relatives who live out of the Uk. I've discovered some cousins and their adult children and been surprised and pleased to find we have interests in common. I've picked up various buggies and toys for our grandchildren free or cheap, donated all kinds of things which local folks have been pleased to collect. I don't have friends who say 'well done hun' though I do have friends who take part in various fund raising runs/walks which I may or may not donate to.

Chewbacca Thu 28-Dec-17 14:30:52

Completely agree with you OP. Our village has its own Facebook page and on Christmas Day there were 2 posts of similar ilk. One actually posted a photograph of the joint of ham "marinated in cider and honey and slow roasted", and asked for details of "where the homeless people are so I can take it to them". They could have taken it straight to the food bank and said nothing but then no one would have known about their good deed, would they?

merlotgran Thu 28-Dec-17 14:33:58

This year I've seen quite a few people announcing on fb that as of next year they will no longer be sending cards but will make a donation to charity instead.

If it's 'like for like,' unless they have a very long Christmas card list I doubt it will be a very generous donation and is more likely an excuse for CBA.

grannyactivist Thu 28-Dec-17 14:45:56

Just to put another point of view across; I have two friends whose lives are reflected by their FB posts. If they go for a walk they post the photographs, if family visit I see the photo's, if they're eating in or eating out - up go the photo's. Their lives are like an ongoing documentary and they both have huge followings so each post generates a lot of traffic - and if they were doing something for others it would be up there for all to see - and yes, would generate lots of 'well done hun' type responses. Maybe the people mentioned here are similar.

millymouge Thu 28-Dec-17 15:01:14

[Gill] totally agree with your post

Greenfinch Thu 28-Dec-17 15:22:26

Agree absolutely.I have closed my facebook account.I got completely fed up with"friends" complimenting each other for everyday acts of kindness or friendliness that should come naturally to most people.They even write about people in the same house as them .Are they too embarrassed to speak face to face ?

Christinefrance Thu 28-Dec-17 15:28:43

Seems to be the norm nowadays to tell the world every detail of your life.
I agree charitable actions should be done quietly without fanfare but there is something to be said for raising awareness in our children of less fortunate people. Not sure they should be treated as exhibits though.

MissAdventure Thu 28-Dec-17 15:30:29

Its pretty distasteful to be writing about people on Facebook without their permission. I find it vulgar.

paddyann Thu 28-Dec-17 17:01:05

its the huge number of posts to people in "Heaven" that get up my nose,maybe I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't think dead people see FB or that many of these people would have been better spending time with their dear departed while they were alive than putting posts on FB telling the world how wonderful the lost Mum/Dad /third cousin twice removed was now they've "gone"Now there IS a lot of hypocrisy there !

BBbevan Fri 29-Dec-17 06:51:56

I totally agree paddyann I have a SiL who does this constantly about her father. Birthday, Christmas. I really have to restrain myself from saying " Actually he was an absolute s* " But I don't. I couldn't be that cruel.

Smithy Fri 29-Dec-17 08:30:08

Agree with Paddyann and BB, couldn't have put it better.

Bathsheba Fri 29-Dec-17 09:04:06

This year I've seen quite a few people announcing on fb that as of next year they will no longer be sending cards but will make a donation to charity instead.
Oh this is another thing that really irritates me I'm afraid. On the surface it seems a noble gesture. In reality where is the sacrifice? How have they suffered or put themselves to any trouble in order to help a charity? Not a bit. They've just got out of the faff of buying, writing and posting Christmas Cards, by sending a tenner to a charity of their choice. Presumably they still receive cards, so they don't even go without themselves! It's the ones who would have received cards from them that miss out. Why not say "this year as well as sending cards I'm going to match the cost and give to a charity". Now that I would respect!

Eglantine21 Fri 29-Dec-17 09:32:23

Misadventure, I have a friend who constantly posts details of other people's lives. When she announced my husband's death together with a photo of him and me on a day out and a so sad message I was furious. Even more so when the replies commiserated with her.........

annsixty Fri 29-Dec-17 09:34:17

I am now sorry I don't do FB, so I must use GN to say, I gave several thousands pounds each to all of my favourite charities.
I spent all day Christmas eve cooking vast amounts of food which I took to the homeless shelter and spent all Christmas day working there, mostly doing laundry for the visitors so they could go back on the streets with clean dry ironed clothes.
Loud applause from all please. I don't believe in hiding my light under a bushel.
Is that actually what these people want?