On Friday night I was meandering around Facebook and noticed that a number of friends had changed their profile pictures to that of their favorite, childhood, cartoon character. Some had additionally posted "Change your profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood. The goal is to not see any human faces on FB until Monday, December 6th and to be surrounded by good childhood memories. Join the fight against Child Abuse and invite your friends to do the same!"
This sounded like a fun and helpful thing to do, so I promptly changed my picture to teen Pebbles (since I couldn't find a good picture of Josie from "Josie and the Pussycats.") Come to think of it, EVERY time I've wanted a Josie something; I've had to settle for the next best thing. I remember that when I was in first grade I wanted to be Josie for Halloween, and my Mom wound up buying me a Melody costume instead; complete with plastic face mask with the elastic string. NOT that there was anything wrong with Melody; she just WASN'T Josie. How funny that even in first grade I was more inclined to be the spunky red head, the leader of the band; rather than the cute, lil blonde. EEWW, way off track; let's round the bend...
So I was teen Pebbles; and I asked Luis which cartoon character was his fave; and quickly turned him into Foghorn Leghorn. Nicky said that he liked many characters, but he never waivered in his decision to change his picture to Woodstock.
It was really fun seeing all of the different cartoon characters that people were choosing; and other than Tinkerbell, I didn't see any duplicates. My friend Ronni, actually posted a "Josie AND The Pussycats" picture; and another friend chose a Penelope Pitstop that I'd considered. I was never the biggest cartoon watcher; but I did enjoy those "Wacky Racers." I saw many different Snoopy's, an Underdog and a Polly Purebred. Captain Caveman, Mutley, and Shaggy from Scooby Doo. I was struck by the number of people who joined in on this call to action; but then on Sunday night, I saw a post from my cousin, Jackie, stating "apparently the group asking everyone to change their profile picture to their favorite cartoon is actually a group of pedophiles! They're doing it because kids will accept their friend request if they see a cartoon. Nothing to do with supporting child violence! It was on that TV show that warns you about internet fraud...Its on Tonight's News! PLEASE pass this onto everyone who has a cartoon profile picture." AGGHH! I felt like an idiot; and I immediately changed my profile picture back to what I had pre-cartoon; and changed Luis' and Nicky's as well. I felt so irresponsible for having fallen prey to this trick; but I never could have imagined that something that seemed so harmless could truly be something terrible.
I didn't re-post the note that Jackie shared, because by the time I saw it, I knew that people would be changing their pictures back on their own. I decided that I was going to look into the matter more; which I should have done before changing our pictures so quickly; but what I found was nothing factual; and I have to say that I'm REALLY relieved.
According to Snopes, changing your Facebook profile picture to that of a cartoon character in order to help end child abuse AND the claim that this suggestion came from a group of pedophiles; are both FALSE. I found the entire article to be very thought provoking; and certainly a comfort.
I for one am guilty of believing a good deal of what I read. I don't typically turn to Snopes to confirm or disprove every request that I receive; but for the sake of acting responsibly, I suppose that I'll have to get into the habit of doing so. I've definitely passed along warning forwards that turned out to be false; AND now I've posted then removed my cartoon character; but thankfully none of these actions hurt anyone. We all have to be so careful with everything that we share in our texts, our emails and undeniably,on our Facebook pages. I liked being teen Pebbles for 48 hours; and maybe, just maybe and just because I feel like it; I'll choose to be her again one day.