Continuing with my series, “What Does Your _____ Say About You?” Here is another article I wrote a while back that addresses the example we set and what we communicate even if it's for a good cause. What Does Your Post Say About You? Breast Cancer AWAREness? by JoJo Tabares Every year around this time, I receive an inordinate number of private messages from Facebook friends about Breast Cancer Awareness. So many apparently see this as a fun way to promote a worthy cause, the elimination of breast cancer which affects many women, so why do I have such a problem with it? 1. It does NOT promote awareness. A few years ago I was asked to post the color of my bra. Another year I was asked to post where I like to keep my purse. This year I was asked to post a tiny heart symbol. You are ONLY supposed to post the answer, but not explain what it means–even when someone asks. Most people have no idea it has anything to do with breast cancer and those who already know because they got the insider personal message from one of their Facebook friends, already know. If they don’t know, they are afraid to ask, so…how does this benefit breast cancer awareness? 2. What it so often DOES promote is frustration, embarrassment and inappropriate comments. The first year I was exposed to this, I had no idea what it was. I saw a bunch of my friends posting, “red,” “blue,” “yellow with pink polka dots.” So naturally, I posted a comment, “What is yellow with pink polka dots?” I received a PM a few hours later explaining what it was and asking me to post what color my bra was. I’m sorry, but the color of my bra is between me, my husband and God. I really don’t feel comfortable sharing that with the general public. The year they asked you to post where you like to keep your purse, I saw an increase in the number of mutual male friends who had one of two responses to, “I like it on the counter!” or “I like it on the kitchen table!” One was utter embarrassment either to the mere image it conjured up or to the response they received if they innocently asked what it meant. The other response men typically have to sexual innuendo is lewd comments. I’m not going to post any of them here, but I’m sure you know what I mean. Men are visual creatures when it comes to this subject. The mere mention of something that smacks of a sexual image, is enough to illicit (or should that be elicit) comments that shouldn’t be repeated in mixed company. As Christians, isn’t it our duty not to tempt men to stumble? Breast cancer is a serious disease affecting not only thousands of women, but their families as well. A friend recently told me that she wondered if people whose lives were affected by breast cancer felt as if these “Green”, “On the counter,” and cutsie heart symbols were making light of their loss. If you’ve been a reader of Communication FUNdamentals for any length of time, you know how much I love to joke, but there are times when it just seems wrong. In my mind, these postings do not serve to inform or educate and have an incredible potential for miscommunication, embarrassment and to promote inappropriate comments. So this season, why not just post a pink ribbon and say, ”This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” Then post a link to Breast Cancer.org where you can get more information. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer. Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula. You can also find JoJo on web sites such as Crosswalk.com and Dr.Laura.com. For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit http://www.ArtofEloquence.com ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ If you liked this post, read…Seven Reasons Why YOU Should Sign Up for the Art of Eloquence Newsletter!