Climate change, wars, incarcerations, animal abuse, diseases – we got our plates full with problems in this world. But have you noticed how the development of complex and acute crisis is directly proportional to the development of online social entertainment?
Melting ice glaciers ∝ cat videos
We live in a world where people need to have a number of reasons to even bother with helping others. Sure, the building is on fire but I can’t pause this game of World of Warcraft.
It’s a simple cost-benefit analysis only,playing on sympathy and suffering doesn’t work anymore. People are getting increasingly steeped in leisure to run away from the pain of reality and if you want people to join a cause and contribute, you need a solid sympathy pitch to sell them on. It’s a pity, but why should I do something? I won’t make a difference…
So I devised a three-step process:
1. Bespoke plea
Explain how it affects them directly and illustrate that not taking action will cause worse repercussions than the effort it takes to pitch in.
2. Simple action/ Incentivize
People can’t be bothered to deal with complexity and figuring stuff out. If they got out of their ways to be willing to do something, they are expecting a cut-and-dried task, along with a cup of coffee and cake just for showing up.
3. Immediate gratification/ Extrinsic motivation
Complex problems are very daunting, even to the most hopeful activist. When taking on a new goal or experience, the most important thing is to create a positive feedback loop where one gains self-efficacy from having successfully followed through on tidbit actions towards a bigger goal. So, people need to see that their actions contributed to progress, however minute.