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    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Kony 2012--Your Response

    So, Kony 2012 has hit the facebook, google, tumblr, twitter and blogosphere world.  It's here, it's real and it's big.

      I try not to be too reactionary with stuff like this and I try to read, research and gather a full understanding of the context rather than just start posting things because they are viral, which happens way too often.

      Let me begin by saying Kony needs to be stopped and I think the effort to get him arrested is great.  I am all for the desires of Invisible Children and even agree with the course of action (arresting, inditing and sentencing) him they are asking for.  So, no haters on saying I am anti-justice and against this because I am not.

      My concern here lies within the way in which people respond and even the call to action (especially action #4) in the movie.  My generation has a propensity to be for causes, pump them, facebook about them and scream for their cause to be heard...yet they don't actually do much about it, nor do they give financially to the cause.  We have become a hypocritical hyper-active political machine of words only.  We sadly reflect the government we criticize for doing nothing and we are pretty loud about that.

      In a study I did among people ages 20-30 I found out about their spending habits.  Here's something I uncovered:

     "Lastly and most interesting to note is the amount donated.  With 47.4% of this group making $30,000-$50,000 a year,  100% of that group donates less than $4,000* a year and 66% donating less than $1,500 a year.  I thought this to be interesting, because during the interview process, I found that 100% of them were all for helping the poor, were loud supporters of giving money to Katrina Relief, and other such relief arms.  Yet, with this issue of donating their own money to these causes, they are shy to do so.  *The donations were to church and/or any other organizations*

      Some reading this in that age group know this stat to be true.  So, what's the big deal?  For me, I am tweaked at the inaction of my generation.  We have the loudest voice because of facebook, twitter and other outlets and we sadly think this is enough.  We simply see the video and retweet it or post it and we feel super justified like we just did and amazing thing!  Also, in the Kony video the video producers knew this weakness and exploited it.  Some would say that's an ingenious marketing move or he was just trying to make Kony famous, that's the point, or why does that bother you?

      It bothers me because we are training ourselves and our teens to simply see a cause, retweet it and forget it.  Many people donated money and bought the action kits, then posted.  I applaud that.  Yet most people from my research and others probably just posted it and were looking today for the next cause to retweet.

      I may be the only one ringing this bell and I may be in a field by myself waiting for the Lord's coming (no offense 7th Day Adventists) but I really feel this to be an issue.  Plus, simply retweeting that means you didn't look into the issues deep enough, you were simply moved emotionally and promoted it.  We are deeper beings than that.  We should be moved by what moves God, not our every emotion.  In researching, and borrowing research from this guy: The Whole Music Thing I discovered that only 33% of the money donated to Invisible Children goes overseas.  In fact 3% (approx. $267,000) goes to the three founders of the organization.  that's about $89,000 each...that's a high salary for a non-profit.  

      Again, I am not an Invisible Children hater, simply sharing some facts.  We need to be a people of understanding and action, not simply reaction...that's my point.  Adam Mclane also brings up other great points here about some dangers with this reactionary attitude: The Problem with the Cause of the Week.

      Here's my big idea: If you are for these issues, good but put your money and time where your facebook mouth is...don't just re-post or re-tweet...get in the game!