We see it all the time on social media – posts that show photos of sick children or abused puppies, with a caption that begs social media users to take action and raise awareness for the children's or puppies' plight by liking/sharing the post. Many times, such posts will include something along the lines of, "If you don't like or repost this, you're a terrible human being! Only a heartless person would scroll past this."
There's nothing inherently wrong with posting about social justice movements or causes via platforms like Facebook and Twitter – in fact, raising awareness through social media can be a very good thing! After all, we live in an age where social media permeates people's lives, making it an excellent tool for bringing to our attention the sufferings and injustices that so many people (and animals) endure on a daily basis. Were it not for technology and the Internet, the world as a whole would be far less connected than it is, and we would not be able to quite as easily learn about the severe problems that people are facing all around the globe.
So yes, when it comes to garnering support for people and animals in need, social media can be a powerful way to make people aware of social injustices and urge them to do something about it. However, posts that accuse people of being heartless simply because they don't click "Like" are seriously problematic – after all, whether or not someone responds to a social media post with the click of a button doesn't reveal what's in their heart.
Maybe the person who scrolls past the picture of a sick child or abandoned puppy without sharing it to their feed actually cares quite deeply about correcting social injustices, and that person could already be actively helping those in need. Perhaps they donate money to a charity or serve underprivileged inner-city kids or work in a local soup kitchen. You don't have to retweet a post to show that you want to help others and make a difference in the world. What matters is not that you like a social media post, but that you make sure your heart is in the right place and that you go out and make a real, tangible difference (beyond just clicking a button).
We must remember that while social media can be incredibly useful in raising social awareness, simply posting about an issue on Facebook isn't enough to actually fix the problem. Making a difference requires going out and getting your hands dirty and doing things that will actually bring about change in the world around you, not just sitting behind a computer screen and sharing posts to your Facebook feed.
With this in mind, let's stop shaming those who don't like or share every social justice message they see on social media – after all, we don't know what the state of their heart is or what they're actually doing to help those in need. They could be out doing far more good than simply tweeting about an issue could ever do. Let's develop a healthy view of social media as being a useful tool instead of the end all be all, and let's focus on getting our own hearts to the point where we're not just tweeting and liking and sharing, but actually going out into the world, interacting with others, and truly bringing about change.