Gransnet forums


Feeling a little uncomfortable about all this virtue signalling

(91 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.

Granarchist Fri 29-Dec-17 09:38:56

virtue signalling is hideous. However as a knowledge source Facebook can be brilliant. I use it less and less for family and friends but for groups (cookery, gardening, local school info) is it vital. One facebook message and the whole village knows the school is snowed in for example - however the "aren't I wonderful" posts are grim.

MissAdventure Fri 29-Dec-17 09:39:20

When my daughter died, there was apparently some kind of competition about who had been her best friend. Never mind that she hadn't used Facebook for a good few years.
It disgusts me.

Eglantine21 Fri 29-Dec-17 09:46:00

Oh that's truly awful Misadventure. I really don't know what to say,flowers

jenpax Fri 29-Dec-17 09:46:46

Absolutely agree. The services that help the homeless the registered charities, need all the support they can get and they know how to target the help to the best use! In our town we have 3 excellent charities who provide services for the homeless including the winter night shelter, a place where homeless folk can get hot meals nearly every day of the week , hot shower and laundry etc we also have a waste food cafe that is free or pay as you can and our brilliant food bank which as well as giving out food and toiletry items feminine hygiene products and baby items for low income households and homeless will also help making benefit claims or housing applications. I am sure that similar is in every town so these are the places I suggest help goes to.

Maggiemaybe Fri 29-Dec-17 10:10:10

I'm sure many people are well-meaning, but yes, the virtue signalling is very annoying. And the muddled thinking sometimes. We had a case in point recently - one excellent well-organised local charity dealing with the homeless and vulnerable announced on FB that it had lost its funding (temporarily, we hope). Straightaway someone leapt in saying that because of this they were going to collect any spare duvets and bedding anyone had and drive round that weekend giving it out to any homeless people they found in the area (whether they wanted it or not, presumably). Followed by lots of posts asking where the duvets should be taken, etc. Friends were messaging me to check that I'd seen the post and whether I'd any duvets. For goodness' sake, as others have said, think about it, find an organised charity that knows what its doing that can target help properly!

SueDonim Fri 29-Dec-17 15:09:43

Oh gosh, yes, I find virtue-signalling intensely annoying! The hot Xmas meals for homeless people reminds me of the ?RSPCA campaign, a dog is for life, not just for Christmas. Homeless people require help all year round, not just on one day a year.

Likewise, I am irritated by people doing 'Dry January' or 'Veganuary' and asking for sponsorship for it. Why I should give people money to give up alcohol or animal products is beyond me. Do it for the state of your health and donate the savings to charity by all means but don't ask me to fund your lifestyle choices.

tickertape Fri 29-Dec-17 16:12:20

I agree with the op. There is so much virtue signalling going on. It's a similar term to moral high ground and social media is full of it, Gransnet is too. If you talk about any good fotune you are reminded others aren't so. lucky. We know this but the holier than. Thou types have to remind us people are homeless or need foodbanks. Why do theythey always do this When we all know about it?

GillT57 Fri 29-Dec-17 16:25:47

Glad to see that most on GN agree with my irritation ! We have a local ' man of the road' and he goes about his daily routine of dragging his belongings in a trolley, has placed inside and outside where he camps for the night. Someone locally on FB started talking about giving 'K' a new coat or duvet for Xmas and then started the sadly predictable nonsense about 'we should look after our own before sending aid overseas' etc......the night shelter who look after him came into FB and explained that his life was his choice, he sought help when he needed it, please do not give cash as by his own admission he will spend it on scratch cards, and also pointed out, politely, that 'K' is one of many they are helping. Cue huffy 'feeling offended hun'. Complete inability to understand how his life worked, how he couldn't cold with being stuck in a flat all day,preferring to walk about doing as he wishes and also illustrating that the purpose was not helping 'K' but letting the local FB community admire the generosity of 'hun'.

lemongrove Fri 29-Dec-17 16:59:54

Makes me pleased I am not on FB.

NannyTee Fri 29-Dec-17 17:08:40

I abhor FB Lemongrove.

Oldwoman70 Fri 29-Dec-17 17:11:42

Agree with the OP. Just before Christmas a small local charity which helps the homeless all year round were collecting food donations in the local supermarket. Most people handed over donations, wished the Nuns Merry Christmas and moved on. I was disgusted to see one family actually taking a "selfie" saying they were going to post it online to show what they had donated. Have to say the Nuns didn't look too happy about it!

NannyTee Fri 29-Dec-17 17:15:51

I am not surprised Oldwoman . That is disgusting behaviour.

GillT57 Fri 29-Dec-17 23:22:39

Despite my irritation with the Xmas virtue signalling, I am generally a fan of FB. It is a great source of local news and information, FB can't be blamed for being the platform that some use in an inappropriate way.

Jalima1108 Fri 29-Dec-17 23:43:17

I agree GillT57
There are many people who are working hard in shelters and cooking hot meals for people in need - quietly asking them if they need donations and/or help and getting the child to help make up packs of warm clothes, food or whatever would be the best way to teach her that not everyone is as fortunate as her.
Then not posting on FB - although one local charity which helps the homeless does post on FB and that is how I found out about them.

Jalima1108 Fri 29-Dec-17 23:43:45

was that bad grammar?
as fortunate as she is.

WilmaKnickersfit Fri 29-Dec-17 23:44:54

I came off FB for a while because I couldn't stand the 'look at me' culture. It was good for keeping up with what family and friends I don't see much were up to, but sometimes it felt like I was snooping. In the end I started again because I wanted to enter a GN competition that was only through FB. This time though I locked down my account to make it as private as possible. I did a lot of housekeeping and unfriended people I really had no interest in and cleared out my profile too. That was in case there was a data breach in the future. Even now I have to keep on top of the posts that seep through and unsubscribe from the sender. Unfortunately FB does not give you the option to opt out of absolutely everything, but I'm trying to keep it simple. It has its uses, but it's a blight on many lives.

paddyann Sat 30-Dec-17 00:42:30

I use FB to keep in touch with family abroad ,other than that I have a couple of political forums ,anything else I deleted last year .I check it for a few minutes daily and switch it off.I've seen enough dinners and "stunning" photo's to last me a lifetime...when in reality theres nothing stunning about them..just boosting other peoples ego's even the most ordinary plate of food becomes the 8th wonder of the

WilmaKnickersfit Sat 30-Dec-17 00:52:33

Or a glass of wine/beer. tchhmm

harrigran Sat 30-Dec-17 09:08:47

People posting on FB that they have just eaten at a new establishment and the food is out of this world. I have then booked a table and been disappointed to find it is yet more bog standard pub food.
Photos are not just liked but they become " wow incredible " and even "stonking" confused

Aepgirl Sat 30-Dec-17 12:28:23

Blowing their own trumpet! I have more time for people who show small acts of kindness without announcing it to the world.

DS64till Sat 30-Dec-17 12:41:03

I totally agree with a lot of what u have said. However I Facebook what I do as a lot of my friends donate items to whatever Charity thing I’m involved in and sometimes it’s a good idea to remind people as they firget

minxie Sat 30-Dec-17 12:47:07

I can’t stand it when people announce a death on social media or an anniversary of a death .its just attention seeking as far as I can see. Such as ‘at 3am this morning my wife died and I and beyond devastated’ not that devastated that you can even think of going on Fb to announce it. It makes me grind my teeth

inishowen Sat 30-Dec-17 12:49:55

On Christmas Day a local woman was murdered. Her daughter immediately went on to fb to pay a tribute to her. Many people commented that fb was the last place you'd want to be when your mum had been stabbed.

MissAdventure Sat 30-Dec-17 12:52:55

It really, really unsettles me that people can be so narcissistic, given the right means and audience.

SiobhanSharpe Sat 30-Dec-17 13:11:38

BIIIG pinches of salt to be taken when reading FB posts, not only the virtue signalling ones but also 'my life is brilliant' etc. These are in all probability if not fake then certainly airbrushed but I have seen they can cause upset and distress to people who may be struggling. Facebook is not real life.
(But I do like funny animals stuff)