Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Sick Children Meme

Is there a name for that thing where people blog photos of gravely sick children or teens and ask for donations, “Likes”, prayers, etc.? I see it a lot, especially in the Facebook news feeds of particular people I’m connected with, but also on Tumblr blogs. I am instinctively repulsed by the phenomenon, (though let me be clear not by the images themselves), and associate it in my brain with ableism and “inspiration porn” in relation to disabled people. But, then I wonder if it really is in the same category, since what I’m looking at is people who are acutely ill, not disabled. What’s the deal here? Are there darker, weirder psychologies behind this trend, or is it just about simple compassion and I should lighten up?

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