Have you seen Midnight Philanthropy?
I’m sure there was a time when people did things just to be nice. No strings attached, no endless gratitude required, no Facebook essay pleading likes and shares for five minutes fame. This time it would appear, has passed. If you want to buy a homeless person a burger after spending half your wages on Jagerbombs, make sure you post about it online. Get a decent selfie.
I’ve termed this phenomenon Midnight Philanthropy
Midnight ‘philanthropy’ (because let’s face it, if you cared that much perhaps you’d have ditched the million dollar Moet binge and donated the cash or the time) is increasingly prevalent on my news feed. I was reading about a young guy who had taken a shine to a homeless woman on a night out so he’d bought her a shit load of McDonalds and taken a picture of himself crying next to her. It had a profound effect on him, which is great, for him. Presumably said homeless lady went back to being just that, homeless.
Perhaps I’m being overly cynical but while he feels great from his life changing experience (pumped on booze at 4 in the morning, I think I once found a lamp post life changing in a similar state) very little has actually changed for the homeless lady. She’s got a belly full of cheeseburger and fries and goes back to the doorway behind Debenhams.
I can’t help but wonder whether this knight in shining armour is in fact after a bit of internet notoriety, exploiting the desperate situation of a woman with nothing. He’s certainly got his ‘fame’, after all, I’m writing about him and the post was like and shared and the comments, oh the comments. You’d think this drunken 20 something had achieved world peace. It might sound like I object to the young lad’s generosity, far from it, I object to him using the situation for his own feel-good-Friday-night.
You can do nice things without filming it.
There are genuine people out there, it just feels like everyone is trying to get public approval for their actions. Everyone wants to be social media hero of the day and it completely waters down the significance of the act of kindness or the seriousness of the problem being solved. The guy who films himself giving his grandparents a new car, it’s one of the most generous things I’ve ever seen but he knows it is, because he filmed it and put it online, which takes away some of the magic.
Perhaps I’m just a pessimistic old bitch, but I have far more respect for anyone who does these things on a daily basis with no need for public approval. Here’s a tip, do something good for someone, just do it, do it without wanting everyone to care, without having to prove that you’re a good person. If you know you’re a good person, other people will too, without a single status to prove it.