Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg hinted that changes to Facebook would save lives, and today we can see these changes, you can now put down that you are an organ donor on your Facebook timeline.
Facebook Timeline is a new way of displaying your Facebook profile, it lets you add images and events in chronological order, so you can backdate certain posts and major events. This was rolled out for all users earlier this year and as usual was met with some controversy however it added some Google plus style functionality which meant you could manage posts and who could view your profile. You can now subscribe to public posts and have various friends see particular posts, such as work posts going to work friends. These added privacy settings are not obvious and many people still don’t realise how much of their personal information is public.
That being said timeline is a revised design of your profile and does let you back date important events such as births, weddings etc. Now you can add the important event of when you became an organ donor.
Organ donation is a very serious subject as many people whose lives depend on organ donations are waiting in vain due to so few people being organ donors. Many people do not wish to donate organs due to personal or religious beliefs, however, some people are happy with the idea of donating their organs but die unexpectedly without signing up, purely because it was not accessible, or they assumed they had plenty of time.
You see a lot of well meaning viral shares on Facebook, such as ‘like this if you support our heroes at war’. A recent example of this was the Kony – invisible children video that went viral, however liking and sharing a post or video on Facebook will not actually contribute to a campaign other than raising awareness.
You do have to applaud Facebook for realising the power they have and finding a way that could do good. By adding ‘organ donation’ to timeline, this will pop up in many people’s news feeds reminding people that they want to be on the organ donation list or at least making people think about whether this is something they want.
Mark Zuckerberg has said;
“Today, more than 114,000 people in the United States, and millions more around the globe, are waiting for the heart, kidney or liver transplant that will save their lives. Many of those people – an average of 18 people per day – will die waiting, because there simply aren’t enough organ donors to meet the need. Medical experts believe that broader awareness about organ donation could go a long way toward solving this crisis. And we believe that by simply telling people that you’re an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role.”
You can write any information of why you decided to become a donor or any supporting information to really make the event more interesting and when users hover over the donation feature you can get links on the nearest registry office.
Here you can see the video of how to do this;
This is a great idea to raise awareness for this cause and hopefully we will see an increase in people registering to be an organ donor, but I do wonder if we are sharing to much information on Facebook.