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Spare us this day your Facebook likes, says UNICEF

“How do you sleep at night?”

“I “like” good causes during the day.”

That’s what UNICEF Sweden seems to be accusing slacktivists of doing in their latest campaign — and they’re somewhat right. We’ve all got friends whose social media feeds reek of posturing, the digital age equivalent of citing causes to impress at cocktail parties. Yes, I’m guilty of it from time to time, too. (The “likes”, not the cocktail parties.)

Yet I’ll take mouse-click-activism over some of the dubious do-gooding I’ve seen in my circles. For one thing, social media does help spread awareness. And UNICEF and their agency know that. Their campaign was obviously designed to be shared.

Second, all that “liking” and retweeting and +1-ing, etc. never seems as calculated as when young execs do charity to beef up their MBA application. Or when a mother volunteers to¬†help build homes in Cambodia because it increases her kid’s chances of getting into an elite school. (That’s either a horrible example to set for her kid, or an early life lesson in how the world works.)

The other day, a blogger covering the Hot Docs festival asked me what inspired me to make “Menstrual Man”. There’s no single reason, of course, but here’s a solid one: because he preaches less and continues to improve more lives than anyone I know.