Cartoon Facebook Profile Pics: Are They Really Helping?

If you're an avid social media user, you've probably noticed quite a few of your Facebook friends have cartoon characters as their profile pictures.  They say it's for a good cause, but how is changing a profile picture really helping?

Sometime last week, a Facebook message went viral: "Change your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood...this is for eliminating violence against children."

Suzanne Stone, Outreach Coordinator for Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, says there are two sides to the fad.

"This is probably a little more of a trendy thing to do, but we're happy to see it," she said.

There are 230 kids right here in this area who are in foster care because they've been abused.  Trendy as the cartoon profile pics may be, Stone says they could be a first step in prevention, because with an ugly issue like child abuse, people often don't breach the subject.

"Nobody wants to hear about the kid who was locked in the closet for 4 days.  Nobody wants to talk about the child who doesn't have enough to eat," she said.

Now people are probably at least talking about it.  But do Calvin and Hobbes or Rainbow Brite really help in the fight?  We asked our own Newschannel 6 Facebook friends.

"If you want to help, donate to a well-known organization not just go with the Facebook flow," said Kurtis Chandler.

Stone says the fad can be a start in the right direction.

"What we would hope, though, is that people would look at those changes and say, 'I wonder what that's about.  I wonder what's going on in my community,'" she said.

So far, CASA hasn't seen an increased amount of phone calls or volunteer help locally.  They say the movement's timing around the holidays is great, but the good intentions have to leap off the screen, and into action.

"That's a lot harder to do than just change your profile picture on Facebook," Stone said.

If you're not interested in volunteering directly for advocate groups like CASA, you can always donate funds to help keep those types of non-profits running.  If you'd like more information, click here.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6