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I’m going to be a bit of a bad guy today, y’all, but I’m genuinely interested to hear what others think about this.
Like many people, I troll Facebook regularly to see what old friends and acquaintances are up to. During my digital creeping, I found a few posts that kinda-sorta infuriated me. A few Facebook friends in particular posted links to crowdfunding. Being the curious person that I am, I checked out the crowdfunding pages, hoping that they were okay.
Imagine my confusion when I saw the crowdfunding was for putting A/C in a car, paying for a trip abroad, asking for money to move across country to find themselves, and once for LASIK surgery because “I don’t like wearing glasses because they make my face look fat.”
Let me be clear: I have no problems with crowdfunding. It’s a great way for a lot of people to band together to raise funds in a short period of time. Platforms like GoFundMe really do help people make the best of horrible situations. They help people pay for funeral expenses or health bills that they otherwise would have been burdened with.
It ticks me off to see people using crowdfunding for “emergencies” that are really luxuries they want other people to pay for. Here’s why this particular brand of crowdfunding is a load of bull.
You could fund it yourself
I admit I was irritated to see people crowdfunding to put A/C in their car.
I totally get it: Texas is a damn hot place and A/C is a gift to mankind living in this hellhole. But, I mean, really? I’ve gone without A/C in my car; it’s fixed by rolling down your windows and pretending you’re not burning alive. In fact, poor Mr. Picky Pincher delivered pizza for years in a car without heat or A/C.
I’m equally irritated by my friends who ask for help with moving expenses. It’s not like they’re on tough times–these are people still being supported by their parents at age 25.
There are times when you just have to tough things out. This particular friend mentioned they could pay for the A/C repair themselves, but it would require waiting a month. The horror! The other set of friends said they could pay for the cross-country move, but then they wouldn’t be able to buy new furniture once they got in their new apartment. Oh, the suffering!
I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask people to fund a nonessential A/C repair or for moving expenses when you know you could pay for it yourself. We’ve all been through tough times. Instead of begging our social network to help us, we make it work.
It dilutes actual emergencies
I do think it’s a slap in the face to spam your Facebook friends with “urgent” requests for help. I’m sure your A/C seems like an emergency, but that’s not a life-threatening ordeal. It’s sweaty and a big annoyance at best. When I see so many of these posts crying wolf on Facebook, I get upset because it dilutes the importance of actual emergencies. I’m much less likely to pay attention to someone’s pleas if it seems like they’re always begging me to pay their rent.
Your needs are bigger than other people’s needs
About a year ago, I had a friend who was desperately trying to crowdfund money to go to Europe. She’d always dreamed of attending grad school in Europe but didn’t have the funds to attend her program.
Did she pick up a second job? Did she cut expenses to pay for the trip? Nope. The first place she turned was GoFundMe to pay for her airfare. She pleaded with all of us to give “just $5 to help her out,” and I was shocked to see she squeezed $500 from her social network.
I get really mad when I see these requests. It’s like my friend is saying her trip to Europe is more important than my ability to contribute to savings. She’s saying her lack of planning and prudent decision-making should be rewarded with my diligently-earned cash.
The bottom line
Phew! Sorry for being the bad guy today, y’all, but it had to be said.
I get really fired up when people can’t tell the difference between a true emergency and begging for funds to pay for luxuries. I get frustrated because crowdfunding steps in to save the day for people who just downright don’t have the sense to plan ahead or to make tough life decisions.
Of course, crowdfunding is always going to enable people to do amazing things. There are so many people out there who really, truly need the help. Grah! At any rate, I’d be more than willing to help out a friend during an emergency (ie. medical issues, car wreck, funeral costs, etc.). But for now I’ll promptly start blocking GoFundMe requests for concert tickets.
We want to know: What do you think? Am I being mean here or is crowdfunding non-emergencies annoying?