O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

Question for the Day: Talking vs. Doing

I’ve been wondering this for a few days, so I’m going to drop it on the table. Watch out for the splatter. Please read and discuss.

Question for the Day: What’s the relationship between talking about doing something and, you know, actually doing something?

Anne Jackson is a writer and blogging and fellow church media person whom I interviewed here and here several months ago. Via some sort of social networking sphere (I forget…Twitter? Facebook? Blog?) she introduced me to the 50,000 Shoes in 50 Days drive for the organization Soles for Souls. Now, I like shoes and I like for shoeless kids to wear shoes and, let’s face it, where else can you buy two pairs of shoes for $5 anywhere? So I headed over to the campaign website and ponied up $20 to give kids some shoes. Then I blogged about it.


Apparently, somewhere between hearing about the organization and advocating for the organization, I did something crazy and radical — I actually donated money to the organization. According to Anne, who’s connected to the marketing of the 50,000 Shoes project, the statistics are a little discouraging. They’re not quite on target for the 50,000 shoes in 50 Days challenge.

Plenty of people are talking about it — to the tune of 3,500 blog posts written on behalf of the drive. But only 1,500 donations have been made. So…less than half of the people blogging about it are actually doing what they’re advocating and supporting the organization with something more than their social networks.


Am I hopelessly out of touch (yes!) or is that a little discouraging?

Call me old-fashioned, but I have trouble telling you to do something if I’m not willing to do it myself. I thought that was normal. Surely most people share that common-sense approach to responsibility or influence or whatever you want to call it. Right? But maybe not. I guess I’m naive. Because what does it say about our generation if we’re willing to engage our social networks to promote a cause, but we don’t do anything more than talk or write or blog? Why are we so willing to do the easier thing — like, um, clicking on stuff — but less willing to do the harder thing? When did talking about something good replace actually doing something good?


Which leads to this final question: Are social networks beneficial for anything other than joining meaningless groups or sending each other pieces of flair? Ponder that, and comment below.

In the meantime, I’m going to join my old friend Pete’s group. It’s called 1,000,000 Facebook Users Against Useless Facebook Causes Benefiting No One. Because we like to feel like we’re doing something.

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posted December 17, 2008 at 9:13 am

Oi – the facebook causes that are supposedly saving the earth. I’m like – buy me an actual tree and plant that somewhere, would ya? And yes, it seems like common sense not to blog about something you aren’t willing to do yourself. That’s why I don’t blog about charities much. :( And I do think social networks have a huge potential for being completely meaningless. It’s almost like Vegas – if it happened online, I’m not sure it really happened. Only in this case I’m talking about friendships and good will and being green and such. I haven’t quite decided of course. Thus my blog, facebook, My Space, and Twitter accounts. Sheesh.

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Anne Jackson

posted December 17, 2008 at 9:44 am

Yep…I don’t get it!On a positive note…I can see that in the 50k campaign, that’s around $30,000 raised in a month which is crazy! Plus the other $100,000 or so raised through Compassion and a few other initiatives … all online. There is a hope. Some people are lazy or indifferent or…stick to their guns or…. ???

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Bryan Allain

posted December 17, 2008 at 10:30 am

Yeah, strange that folks would go through the trouble of blogging about it, but not donate. Maybe some people feel like their contribution was making others aware? I don’t know, that seems pretty dumb, especially since it’s only $5. pretty low for facebook, i take pleasure in hitting ‘ignore’ on every cause, game, flair, and event that i get.

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Jason King

posted December 17, 2008 at 11:28 am

Check out for an example of a successful use of social networking. Shaun is the pastor of Courageous Church in Atlanta, whick doesn’t even open until Jan. 11, but spent the last month raising $20k onlne through facebook, his blog, twitter, etc. We just gave an entire elementary school in Atlanta a toy and uniform for EVERY student. He was tireless in promoting it, but it payed off. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s not hopeless.

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won kim

posted December 17, 2008 at 11:41 am

i was about to blog about your blog about blogging and not doing. Then I got a headache. Totally agree with you.

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Jason Boyett

posted December 17, 2008 at 11:46 am

@won:I just nearly left a comment about your comment about blogging about my blog, but then my ears started bleeding.Good to hear from you! It’s been awhile.

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Jason Boyett

posted December 17, 2008 at 11:47 am

@jason:Thanks for the link. That’s pretty incredible what Shaun’s doing.

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