Rory talked about the phrase ‘designated driver’ and how it was born out of anti-drink driving campaigns. He told us how the label was seeded into TV programmes and other media to get it accepted into mainstream language. And how this new label meant ‘not drinking’ went from being unsociable to acceptable.
It got me thinking about how we might apply this learning in the charity sector. With my digital focus the first thing that came to mind was the difference in adoption between ecommerce and online giving.
For commercial organisations, ecommerce is often a higher proportion of their income than online donations are to many charities. I stand by my previous statements that charities might be behind because of the available technology. But reframing the question using this case study from Rory provides some interesting thoughts.
We need a new language for online giving, a label which makes it more of a social norm than it is. There’s a strong case for this, particularly if you are an endorser of CAF’s research into the giving habits of younger generations.
Looking back at the language around charitable giving I’m not sure its changed that much in the last few decades (please tell if you know different!). If this is correct it’s not surprising that online giving is not aligned with the modern media environment or younger generations.
So what could that new label be?
Dougles Rushkoff is famous for his views on new media’s impact on society and his latest book is a great read. I read ‘Program or be Programmed’ last year and found myself agreeing with most of it. It’s about how technology is shaping our lives, rather than our lives shaping technology.
Reflecting on this a year after reading I’m starting to revisit applications for this theory in my day-to-day. This thought stands out:
A part of any digital job should be about inspiring inquisitiveness and experimentation in those who think digital is a “black box” they won’t understand. A “black box” which is dangerous and forbidden to tamper with. In doing this you’re helping people go from programmed to program, from technophobe to digital native.
What do you think? Are you doing this in your role?
I once met someone who experienced a massive surge in internet popularity at a young age, approx 13. That’s where I’ll leave the detail- it’s a fascinating story but not mine to tell. What I can say is some of the observations I made about the impact of this internet popularity at an early age.
- They expressed loneliness when they had no responses to their internet activity.
- Friends meant something different, they included people they had regular online dialogue with but will probably never meet.
- They ‘forced’ an introduction virtually before a face to face meeting (even though to some peers this was considered to be cyber-stalking).
These are traits that we’re now seeing in digital natives, those people who have never known a world without the web. The internet fame this person experienced appears to have catalysed this behaviour development so that the person, although not from the digital native generation, had these traits.
So now I’m pondering is there is a way to identify catalysts that could take us to the next stage of media related behaviour? and are they already happening out there?
…. perhaps I need to read some behavioural psychology books.