I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, bloggers are some of the nicest people I’ve met on the internet.
Whether it’s raising money for good causes, increasing awareness of social issues or simply providing help and advice to other bloggers and aspiring writers, there’s always someone who’s willing to lend a hand or act as a sounding board for new ideas.
Well I think it’s time we put some of that goodwill to good use.
The mass media, social media and the internet in general are so full of bad news, inequality and small mindedness these days, that sometimes it’s just good to read about something decent happening for the sake of decency itself, without any hidden agenda or need for personal gain being involved.
The amount of lazy, thoughtless racism and casual, allegedly comical bigotry that permeates the average antisocial network in the 21st century sometimes makes scrolling down a newsfeed an exercise in anger management and restraint, when it should be a reasonably innocent way of killing time and keeping in touch with friends.
And that’s without the videos of gratuitously violent executions, the inane rantings of Katy Hopkins or people trying to drink themselves to death.
Which brings me neatly to the subject of this post, the continued rise in the idiotic, dangerous and now officially deadly social media game, Neknomination, which has now claimed at least two lives as a result of “players” daring each other to indulge in massive alcohol intake in a short space of time.
Now however, the inventors of the game have begun furiously backpedaling in the face of the public backlash generated by the deaths, and by incidents involving kids unused to drinking becoming seriously ill after downing ridiculous quantities of alcohol.
In one case, a mother came home to find her nineteen year-old son unconscious on the sofa after having drunk three bottles of spirits and posted a photo of him covered in vomit on Facebook to teach him a lesson. He was lucky that he passed out whilst sitting up, had he been lying down he almost certainly would have died.
So the instigators of the craze have told their followers to switch instead to Donominate, the idea being that participants nominate each other to do “random acts of kindness” for strangers.
Now, call me cynical but I can’t picture the sort of bloke (unsurprisingly the players are almost all male) who’d drink a pint of whiskey with the contents of an ashtray tipped into it would suddenly take to carrying old ladies’ shopping or mowing lawns, just because some faceless internet goblin told him to.
I also have serious doubts about the sincerity of the goblins, thinking it rather more likely that they are attempting to dig themselves out of a hole of their own making, in the face of furious public opinion.
But let’s just for a moment be charitable and assume they are fully sincere and terribly contrite, the concept of doing small good deeds purely for the sake of it definitely has the makings of workable idea.
All it needs is a group of like-minded people who are prepared to put the idea into practice.
Do you see where I’m going with this…?
Yes that’s right, I am officially inaugurating a whole new branch of internet-philanthropy, Blognominate.
No, wait, come back!
This doesn’t involve donating money, sponsoring an event or even sitting in bathfulls of baked beans, all it requires is that you, the enlightened bloggers of the web, perform some small act of kindness for another person, whether it be a complete stranger or a needy neighbour, in the hope that the resulting karmic harmonics go some way to redress the balance of goodness in the world.
I haven’t been able to raise a team for this year’s Exmoor Startrek charity night hike and we haven’t had a chance to do any daft dressing up at work recently, so for my part it seemed as good a time as any to try and engage in some goodwill recruitment on the factory floor this morning.
And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at the willingness of my colleagues to pledge their support to my plan, which is as follows;
I have asked my workmates for a list of candidates from which we can choose one or more people who we agree would benefit from a random act of kindness, and once we come up with a suggestion we shall organise a party of willing volunteers to somehow make their lives just that little bit easier or more cheerful.
It doesn’t have to be spectacular, it could be anything from tidying up a garden or doing a bit of decorating, to collecting shopping or clearing out a garage. Nothing that’s going to cost a fortune or require specialist equipment, just something to demonstrate that there are plenty of folks out there who are happy to make the world a better place by giving of themselves for no other reason than it feels good to do good.
Whatever we decide to do, you can be sure I shall document it with photos and possibly video in a future post.
So how about it, I’m nominating all of you, are you up for it?
Obviously you don’t have to be a blogger to take part, I’m sure anyone reading this has somebody they know that would appreciate a helping hand.
But if you have a Facebook account or any other social media profile, why not ask your friends to join you for the Blognominate challenge and help score one for the good guys.