Go Fund Yourself
The past year or so, I’ve seen an influx in my Facebook feed of people beseeching their friends to fund their various lifestyle activities. Shamelessly begging your social networks for money is speedily becoming normalised in today’s society, with a plethora of “causes” being championed on the regular – from overseas travel to university courses.
So – is it really socially acceptable to outright ask your friends for money?
There’s no doubting that crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe have done wonderful things for many worthy recipients, such as cancer patients who can’t afford treatment, parents who are struggling to provide medication for their sick children and travellers injured overseas without adequate insurance. I’m not writing off the positives crowdfunding platforms can provide for communities to rally behind their own, but where do we draw the line?
Imploring for money to be donated so that you can “travel the world” is something I cannot endorse. I find it hard to believe that these leisure crowdfunders would feel comfortable asking their friends for money in a face-to-face situation. I know I couldn’t even look a girlfriend in the eye if I was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy (mainly due to my obsession with avo on toast) and asking for “even just $1”! Why should she sacrifice being a buck short just so I can be a dollar closer to hashtagging #wanderlust at the top of Machu Picchu?
Crowdfunding forums give leisure beggars a shield to hide behind so they can pledge their causes to an online audience filled with family, friends, acquaintances and people they drunkenly added in the bathroom that one time. The thing is, if you are privileged enough to live in a developed country with wages as high as ours, your inability to save up for a trip overseas is most likely due to your personal lifestyle choice rather than any actual challenging circumstances. Grow some proverbial balls, suck it up and work to earn your own money like the rest us. Whatever you do, don’t ask your online community – which is full of people aware of how educated and able to work you are – to earn your money for you.
I’m not saying I don’t understand the frustration that kicks in when your account hits minus and you’re dreaming of sinking overpriced bevs whilst wearing sailor hats in Croatia. But before your trigger finger gets dangerously close to the “share” button on your GoFundMe, ask yourself: would I pester my mates for money in real life?
If the answer is “no”, it’s probably not something you should be doing on social media. Instead, consider some other money-making alternatives: perhaps showcasing your talents in beatboxing or interpretive dance via a busking session, hosting a class on ‘How to become Insta famous’, or even selling some of your sibling’s shit on eBay. Whatever you do, just please leave the donations for people who are in actual, desperate need.
Let’s not normalise this movement of people begging for money to fund their lifestyle choices. So the next time you spy a mate in your social feed asking for some financial assistance to GoFundTheir spiritual journey around the world, please join me in saying a resounding, “Go fuck yourself.”
Cover by Christin Hume