- Made me think
- Made me wonder
- Made me emote (happy/sad/mad)
Here’s what I’ve noticed lately:
Reaching Milennials in an alt-left media world
Back in 2014, Pete Spiliakos wrote an article entitled Isolated In The Information Age: Can Republicans Reach People Under Thirty? Remember 2014? It was before we ever knew that Donald Trump would be President of the United States and the Clinton legacy tarnished beyond recognition.
Although the intent is to examine how political conservatives can communicate ideas to millennials, much of what is said is directly applicable to anyone wanting to communicate to young adults. The church needs to take note:
The challenge is that many millennials get much of their news from either entertainment industry sources or from social media that don’t follow even the norms of the “liberal” mainstream media. While many millennials might not take an active interest in the news, their politically active peers will more likely be on the left. That means that the political content of many millennial’s social media streams will be some variation of left-wing partisanship—whether wonkish or satirical, worshipful of the left’s latest darling or demonizing of the left’s latest chosen villain. Inside that social media stream, it won’t matter how good your ideas are. They will be either ignored (in which case they might as well not exist) or they will be distorted beyond recognition.
When millennials subconsciously receive their information through promoted news articles on Google search or articles that their like-minded friends have posted on Facebook, their ability to think critically atrophies like an unused muscle.
So here’s the question:
How can we communicate BIG, WORTHY IDEAS to a generation that prefers 140/280 character status updates?
Beat the idea, not the person
Jon Lovett’s article The Culture of Shut Up is well worth the digestion. Again, it’s about communication. He gave an address during First Amendment Week at Loyola-Marymount in 2014 (can you tell by the dates that I’m trying to work through my saved articles on Pocket?) I may not agree with his worldview and politics, but his appeal to simple, polite discussion is excellent. I loved his analogy of the three green men in the village.
He observes that our current internet-driven, social-meida-saturated culture has devolved into simply yelling “shut up” at those we disagree with.
..We need to stop telling each other to shut up. We need to get comfortable with the reality that no one is going to shut up. You aren’t going to shut up. I’m not going to shut up. The idiots aren’t going to shut up.
We need to learn to live with the noise and tolerate the noise even when the noise is stupid, even when the noise is offensive, even when the noise is at times dangerous. Because no matter how noble the intent, it’s a demand for conformity that encourages people on all sides of a debate to police each other instead of argue and convince each other. And, ultimately, the cycle of attack and apology, of disagreement and boycott, will leave us with fewer and fewer people talking more and more about less and less.
Why is everyone yelling “shut up” at one another? And what are the dangers of actually shutting up? He says:
It’s in some ways a natural response to being more connected to one another; we’re just in each other’s faces. But it’s also dangerous. It narrows the visible spectrum of ideas. It encourages people to be safe and cautious and circumspect when we don’t want people to be safe. We don’t want people to be afraid of saying something interesting on the off chance it’s taken the wrong way.
The bottom line is, you don’t beat an idea by beating a person. You beat an idea by beating an idea.
So here’s the question:
Have you ever been told to shut up or felt like you needed to not speak up? What is the result of you not offering your thoughts and opinions?
America runs on clicks
“But now America runs on clicks,” Maureen Dowd says in Still Mad as Hell, an op-ed in the NYT (I’ll let you guess the year). She says that “the total media-ization and monetization of everything, the supremacy of ratings and market share, the commercialization of all editorial decisions” has detrimentally impacted our ability to think and dialogue.
When networks and news agencies, Target and Walmart, Facebook and Google are ALL able to tell what we are watching, reading, and buying, the information that is delivered to us is primarily about getting our money to flow from us to “them.”
So here’s the question:
How would you feel if you realized that your political position was revealed to have been fed to you through an IV of all the products you buy, shows you watch and social media you consume?
On the lighter side, since this “A la carte” has focused on communication and media…
Email in Real Life
Also in Nuff Said
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