Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 | hoekengac
I’d like to propose a discussion that, fundamentally, is about the relationship between consciousness and conscience and social media’s (potential) roll in sparking both. It is one thing (difficult enough in itself) to raise consciousness about a given topic. Many people and institutions have become quite proficient at using social media tools to get people talking about important issues, and it is critical to start those conversations.
But it is another huge step to move from general discussion, and even expressions of emotion, on a topic to a personal investment—to something that breaks through the clutter of our inboxes and our everyday lives to really affect us. That, in essence, is when an issue becomes an issue of conscience—something that gnaws at us and compels us act.
There are two main areas I’d like to consider:
1) How to we take that leap successfully? How can we use social media to nudge people toward a personal investment in a social or eco-justice issue? How can we offer compelling narratives and information that equip people to fight injustice? What is the balance between trying to stir up a global movement and connecting people to local issues in their own communities?
2) Should we, as institutions or media producers, try to make this leap? What are the potential ramifications to our communities/audiences (visitors, users, etc.) and what are our responsibilities? Can we do so genuinely in 140 characters? How do we avoid causing fatigue and a sense of helplessness by dwelling on guilt or fear? And how can we deal with such emotions in a virtual environment?
I don’t have the answers to all of these questions, and I would be grateful to get some help thinking and talking them through.
Looking forward to meeting everyone on Saturday!