BS on the Internet
One of the factors that tell you whether or not the people that you’re dealing with will be angry or concerned, and to what extent, about your proposed issue or project, has to do with the memorability of the issue. Things that generate a lot of publicity, attention and street talk – true or not – tend to stick in people’s brains better and that alone adds to their anger or fear. It used to be that TV and newspaper coverage was the biggest driver, but conventional news now pales in comparison to social media, which is where more people get their information from and then form opinions about that information. At a time when there were fewer broadcast and print news sources, there was probably a greater level of journalism accountability so, arguably, news may have been more trustworthy. Since traditional media deregulation and the bombardment of the 24-hour news cycle, and the more recent explosion of people constantly connected to that electronic Superfund site we call the internet and social media, there’s little or no truth and accuracy accountability – but endless attention. OK, ok, I know, calling the internet a Superfund site sounds like a crabby old man complaining about cold soup, but in spite of the enumerable benefits and advancements, we’re fools if we don’t consider and manage the consequences.