Nothing floats my boat more than being able to voice my virtual opinion using an online petition or a Facebook group. Seriously. Give me any cause, I'll sign up for it, as long as I can do it online. "End Genocide!" Does it have a website? Cause if so, sign me up! "Stop Babies!" Check out their Facebook group! I'm in! "A Petition to end all online Petitions!" Hey, I found it in my Inbox, so it's right up my alley. I'll sign it twice!
I know many of you are asking right now why I would sign an Online Petition banning my favorite thing, Online Petitions. I'll tell you-- They are all pointless. It is perhaps the most ineffective way of voicing an opinion. It isn't just ineffective, but it's lazy. Why would joining a Facebook group called "Make Genocide History in 2007" help in any way to stop the act? I'm sure the people committing genocide will one day look at the group, notice taht it has 2604 Members, and they will think to themselves, "OH! These people don't like this! Well let's stop then."
Why would typing your name to a Forwarded e-mail (something that cannot be authenticated, and could be done and repeated by anyone) raise 20 cents for a starving child in Africa? The logic doesn't even make sense. The reason we sign up for this stuff is due to Slacktivism: the search for the ultimate feel-good that derives from having come to society's rescue without actually getting one's hands dirty, volunteering any of one's time, or opening one's wallet (Snopes.com). It is so easy to just type your name, click "Join Group", or to forward to you entire contact list.
Instead of ranting for another several paragraphs, just read this. It's a great article about Slacktivism from Snopes.com, a website that confirms or denies Urban Legends.