Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Values of Engagement Types

(Finally, my regulars say.  He's not ranting about bikes and talking about digital issues again.  Well ... . sort of.)

Engagement is a powerful tool. The engaged electorate makes changes. Notice there is no value judgment there - they can make changes for the better and worse.

Engagement comes in many forms, and the most prevalent type is behind a mobile device touch screen. Easy to do. Dopamine gratifying to participate in. Envigorating to "tell truth to power."

And at near zero personal investment. Complete social disassociation of consequences when done anonymously (or increasingly with known identity.)

Yes, we can make institution's lives a living hell with the keystroke of a hashtag: #BradsWife.

IRL - we even have a cute little text abbreviation for the difference.

As much as we encourage digital engagement, America isn't the Matrix. We live in the real world, and to move the ball forward we need people to actually attend meetings.  To physically participate in activities.

This is why I'm backing something in my home town called Walk2Worship Weekend.  We have a tremendous disconnect between drivers and active transportation (walking, biking and bus) users.  We have significant quality of life problems. And, the built infrastructure needs TLC.

The best way to engage all three - find an excuse for people to get out and walk.

I gave it a try in the fall as a letter to the editor with low turnout results. This spring, I'll try again.

In the end, both digital and physical engagement are needed to address an issue. Here's to more awareness here in town, and for you with whatever your local challenge is also.

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