Thursday, August 3, 2017

#215 / Opt In To Real Life

As I noted in yesterday's blog posting, it has become increasingly easy for persons to confuse the "online world" with the world of "real life." 

I have mostly been interested in this phenomenon with respect to the practice of what I think of as a "healthy politics," the kind of "participatory self-government" in which we, ourselves, are personally engaged and involved. 

Zeynep Tufekci has written on this topic in a very convincing way. She has given a nice TED Talk on this subject, too. While political action can benefit from the use of social media, genuine political change is never going to be accomplished by social media alone. 

A recent article in The Huffington Post made the same point in a different context, that of online romance:

Diana Warnack, 48, of Germany gave $18,000 to a man she met online. Intellectually, she knows she was taken, but emotionally, it’s a different story. “I am still in love with him. This is crazy, I know! He is still in my heart,” she told HuffPost. “I guess somehow everyone is looking for great love.”

Whether it results in an emotional car crash, or a real one, there is a genuine danger in confusing the "online world" with the world of real life. My romantic advice (worth every penny you've paid for it) is actually to meet these people you fall in love with, before you actually do!

Coming back to "politics," and to politics at the local level, where our power is greatest, I think it's terrific that I can invite my Facebook Friends to sign up for notifications at the "Save Santa Cruz" website. I'm encouraging you to do that right now, if you're concerned about overbuilding Santa Cruz.

I also encourage you to sign the online petition opposing the so-called "Corridors Plan," and to email the City Council, to let them know your thoughts. Feel free to review my own email to the Council, if you need ideas.

In the end, however, let's not fool ourselves. If the push to overbuild Santa Cruz is going to be stopped, that will require the attendance of real people, appearing at real meetings, arguing for the kind of land use and planning rules that will protect, and not destroy, the things that make our community special.

In love and politics, ultimate success means we need to opt-in to real life!

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