Gen Y Aren’t You More Philanthropic?
If you’re reading this blog, you’ve undoubtedly heard of mm/c’s efforts to help raise money for The Greater Boston Food Bank’s annual turkey drive. In fact, I personally may have even stalked you about making a donation. Sorry, but damn it, how would you feel if you couldn’t afford to enjoy a traditional turkey dinner with your family on Thursday?
In our weekly staff meeting last Tuesday, Marlo encouraged us to keep up the good work…and get on it! Being the outspoken gal I am (who, me?!), I protested aloud that it’s easier for Marlo to get donations than it is for the rest of us. Her friends are successful, motivated, philanthropic…and have money. (No offense to my dear friends!) Our beloved principal’s rebuttal: you all have more “friends.”
While our social networks may be large, Gen Y totally sucks at activism. I recently attended an event called “How Gen Y Will Affect the Future of Marketing,” and was highly disturbed when the only female panelist, a 20-something who shall remain nameless, bragged about how Gen Y does more for social causes than baby boomers ever did because of their investment in social media. When blasted by a middle-aged gentleman in the audience who recalled marching for a number of causes in the 60s and 70s, she naively protested (no pun intended), “Well I marched for Obama!” Yeah, yeah, everyone did, and probably because it was “cool.”
I’m no saint, and I certainly try to make an effort to be more socially responsible, but Gen Y is brilliant at posting links and status updates under the impression that they are doing good or making change. It’s easy to forward an email to a friend, not so easy to put your face to a cause and stage a sit-in, you slack-tivists!
Malcolm Gladwell put it best in a recent feature in the New Yorker when he explained that “social networks are effective at increasing participation—by lessening the level of motivation that participation requires…In other words, Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice.”
So I encourage you all, regardless of age, to prove me wrong in my belief that Gen Y and the social media-obsessed fail to commit to a cause. With two days left until Thanksgiving, spare 30 seconds and donate to mm/c’s efforts to support The Greater Boston Food Bank: $13 will put a 14lb turkey on the table of a family in need. Or, if you want, donate a leg…I estimate that’s about $3.
All this being said, it isn’t about helping us—it’s about helping someone. Gen Y—will you step up?
Posted by Haley