P O S T E D B Y S A L L Y
With all due respect to my WCT colleague, Albert Ruesga, I don’t believe the Internet is currently the best place to build a social change movement rooted in deliberation and consultation.
Deliberation leading to shared understandings that subsequently inform action; consultation broadening a social change community beyond a few committed elites—I’m convinced the brunt of this work can best happen offline.
I’m not denying that the Internet has provided communities of social activists new tools for collaboration. It clearly has.
I’m saying there are many characteristics of the Internet and its use that get in the way of transforming a group of loosely associated individuals into a community with shared understandings about the world and how to change it. The story of Joe Sector, described in an earlier post, begins to name some of these barriers, but there are others.
Consider the state of our critical thinking and reading skills; our general lack of media literacy; our inability or unwillingness to penetrate what some critics have called the Illusion of News.
We carry all of this baggage and more with us on our travels through Cyberspace, though we convince ourselves that we’re fleet of cyber-foot, dancing effortlessly from site to site and blog to blog. We fill with frenzied points and clicks the time we might otherwise spend banging our collective heads against a shared problem.