Live Below the Line: five hashtags in five days

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you saw the make–up–less selfies taken in conveniently good lighting plastered all over Facebook this time last year to raise awareness for Cancer Research UK. And I saw a picture of someone’s knobbly feet on my newsfeed recently, encouraging her virtual friends to do the same to raise eyebrows – and money – for another type of cancer.

You might want to watch out for this year’s Live Below the Line campaign which is challenging people all over the world (apart from the ones starving to death, obviously) to live on £1 a day for five days, and get people to sponsor you for your trouble. “God, I’m so hungry. You want to know why? Now give me money.”

Live Below the Line was set up in 2009 by Rich Fleming from the Global Poverty Project and Nick Allardice from the Australian-based Oaktree Foundation. Since 2011 £7 million has been raised for a bunch of poverty-fighting charities, the UK alone raising a whopping £3 million.

At least with Live Below the Line, people can’t use the charity to plug their mugs on social media. But you know us, give us access to a smartphone and the virtual world is our oyster. Actually, I would bet the UK’s £3 million that we’ll find anything else to talk about besides the actual point of poverty.

Off the top of my head, here are five hashtags that are sure to surface between April 27 and May 1 when the challenge officially takes place:

1. #dietforthedying – A bit like the 5:2 that people took a crack at before realising they couldn’t live off Greggs during the non-fasting days. At least with the £5 in five days challenge, you have a weekend binge to look forward to. That’s what happens in Africa, right? Chances are someone’s going to turn this into a regular eating regime and show off their perfectly defined ribs on Instagram.

2. #foodpornforfamine – Whether it’s a Michelin star meal or the extra gherkin you’ve got in your double cheeseburger, we as a nation have a compulsion to take pictures of what we’re about to eat… or not eat as the case may be during the last few days of April. “Absolutely starving, but I’m ok choking on this rice cracker for the cause! But first, let me take a selfie.”

3. #passoutforpoverty – I would like someone to conduct a survey to find out how many commuters end up fainting on the tube during these five days. The rules clearly state that you’re not to accept food or drink from people, so bat away that bottled Evian someone’s trying to force upon you when you almost collapse down the platform gap. “Tap, give me tap water you fool! Don’t you know I’m raising money for charity?!”

4. #studentsarestarvingtoo – If you’re a student in London, or pretty much anywhere these days, you’ve probably already blown your student loan and Mum and Dad refuse to watch you continue to piss their money away. It’s only a matter of time before students start preaching that £5 for five days is as easy as pie, and that incidentally they can buy a pie for 79p in the reduced section at ASDA.

5. #Lidlriots – With that all said and done, whatever gets people talking about the fight against poverty is a job well done. Just do your £5 shop a week in advance. Live a Lidl, or you might never get to finish the end of their slogan.

For more information on how you can make a difference, visit https://www.livebelowtheline.com/uk.

Featured image – Flickr: Zoriah