Three Little Clicks

Six Degrees of Separation

The concept of six degrees of separation originated with Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy’s 1929 story Chains, suggesting that any two people can be linked through five friends. In the 1960s, Stanley Milgram’s experiment supported this idea by demonstrating that packages sent to random individuals in the U.S. reached a person in Boston in about six steps.

Social media has fundamentally jet-propelled the notion of the six degrees of separation by its ability to connect individuals fast and on a global scale. Through its vast user base and networking capabilities, social media has made it easier than ever to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and geographic locations, effectively shortening the steps between us and not only validating the concept of the six degrees of separation but maybe making it a bit obsolete.

Most of us over 30 use Facebook, though my 14-year-old nephew tells me it’s not the thing for young people! We find ourselves idly scrolling in many moments of the day on our phones. This screen time may be a force of habit, a need, a job, a hobby to follow, or a guilty pleasure to explore, but the fact is, for many, we are stuck with our daily ritual of taking a quick peek. All those fleeting snippets of information flash into our subconscious, occasionally grabbing our attention in the real world – the click moment. Algorithms drive our feeds, doggedly pursuing our likes and dislikes, our desires, passions and shopping habits, so in a way, what we ask for, we get – our own little echo chamber to scroll to our hearts’ content. Guilty as charged.

For all its good and bad aspects, Facebook has one redeeming feature. It’s a hotspot for charity work. Many charity pages on Facebook spread the word about important causes and raise funds for them.

Social Media and Charity

Charity pages on social media are game-changers. They use platforms like Facebook to reach big audiences, spread the word, and gather support for all kinds of causes. They’re like virtual community centres where people come together to help out.

The best part? They’re open to everyone. They are perfect for local projects that need our attention. Overall, they help keep things transparent by showing where donations go and keeping us informed as projects unfold.

These pages aren’t just about raising money; they bring people together. They’re spaces where people share stories, swap ideas, and team up to make change happen.

So, while Facebook is a place for sharing cat videos and catching up with friends (and, on occasion, a vehicle for a litany of vitriol and abuse), it can also be a force for good. With charity pages leading the charge, it’s changing lives one click at a time.

Algarve Charities 

Most of these pages are created by individuals whose desire to help sparks an idea and voilà. There are many manifestations of these pages in the Algarve, from organisations helping in specific areas such as Madrugada, Cadela Carlota, and The Mustard Seed to pages like Algarve Families in Need and Helping Hands, started and run by individuals who work tirelessly at this ‘part-time’ charity gig. Others dedicate their personal pages almost exclusively to spreading the word on what’s needed.

I spoke to Bernadette Abbott, who inherited Algarve Families in Need. Bernadette was retired, but her charity endeavours have become almost a full-time job. She tells me that most of the requests on the page are fulfilled, and aid is distributed effectively through communication with other like-minded organisations and individuals with the same goal. 

Eve Clifton also uses her personal page to promote causes that need our attention. Her original passion was animals; however, during COVID, Eve wanted to help the community in general, which led her to expand her focus further afield. Whether through organisations or individuals, social media excels in raising awareness and fundraising.

Why not do a quick web search and add three pages to your daily stream –  perhaps those promoting causes you care about. Who knows, you might have exactly the item that charity is looking for and be happy to donate it. 

There is an eye-opening number of events to support, too. Social media disseminates information about causes close to your heart with ease. After all, if you don’t know, how can you help?

If simply adding three pages can reduce the separation between you and another person or organisation when they’re in need, that has to be worth three little clicks.


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