Has this happened to anyone? You have a friend on social media who all of a sudden has a financial need. Not a dire emergency or life or death situation, but could use a few bucks to pay for this or that and they start up a Go Fund Me account?
It’s happening more and more often. I remember back in the day when you needed money due to an emergency you had a few options;
- Get a 2nd job. If you had 2, you got a 3rd (these are the stories told to grandchildren everywhere)
- Borrow money from Mom and Dad
- Borrow money from a friend
- Go without and move on
Today, you can now borrow money without ever having to pay it back thanks to funding websites like www.GoFundMe.com
Now, not to say that everyone who uses GoFundMe is taking advantage of the goodness of people, but lately, I’ve seen some doozies.
A GoFundMe for fixing their car due to an accident(their fault).
A GoFundMe for new furniture (not due to any natural disasters, just because).
A GoFundMe for a vacation.
Is it just me or are we getting lazier and lazier? I can understand the emergency funds for families who have tragically lost loved ones. Or a GoFundMe for emergency surgery due to the family having no insurance or not being able to pay the copay. These are all valid reasons to ask people for help. But buying your daughter’s prom dress that is clearly WAY out of budget isn’t something I feel is valid enough to give my money away to. Friend or not.
I am curious how others see these fundraising websites and what criteria is needed before you decide to donate. I mean, if the person asking for free money, and they are capable of making it themselves but are choosing not to, do you donate?
What if you just didn’t believe in the cause they are collecting for, do you donate out of social circle pressure? What if you just can’t afford to help their cause? Do you feel you need to justify it by saying something? And what if that person decides to ‘unfriend’ you because you didn’t donate, as is the behavior now on social media, what do you do then?
It’s not a shock that we are living in an instant gratification, enabling society. More and more we see stories of carelessness without accountability. So how do you make the decision to donate or not to donate? What if you donate and the person receives more money than they needed? What happens to the rest?
What about donating to this friend but not that one? Do they talk? Are they keeping track?
Does it occur to them that you yourself might have financial hardships? That right now, while they’re posting on social media, from the comfort of their couch, reminding you that you haven’t donated through yet another post, asking you to support them financially, you are busting your butt trying to help yourself.
Do you think they recognize that or are just too self-absorbed to see the other side of the coin?
As with most modern innovations, these funding sites are a blessing to some and a curse to others. Which side of the fence do you sit on?