How can we appeal to the masses, who do not seem all that interested in changing?



Hey @PatMc, as others have noted, I think this is a very important question. I, for now, have kinda come to the conclusion that it’s difficult to convince “the masses” (which I read as “everyone”) that they’re being harmed. I think the way forward is to build an elite group of people on whom such appeals aren’t lost. Therein also lies, I think, the way to monetizing the “good apps” that some of us are building.


The proposed dichotomy: On one hand, an “elite” who actively seeks enlightenment and ideally contributes to impacting society. On the other hand, the “masses”, who seem unwilling or incapable to face the facts and do anything about it.

To be honest, I dislike making this difference. Anyone, be he educated or not, curious or not, is prey to the negative sides of rapid technology adoption. For instance, I would hate to think that the CHT core team considers themselves an elite with a higher purpose than mere mortals.


I didn’t mean “elite = educated”. I meant “elite = not prey to…”

Be that as it may, my point is – it may be very very difficult to “appeal to the masses”. We just appeal in the best way we can (and I totally laud CHT’s efforts here), and the masses slowly trickle into the elite group (“elite” defined as above). Business owners who want to take the “good tech” route, I think I’ve concluded, have no option but to tap into the pockets of this elite. IMHO, the masses don’t pay; they facebook.


It is always helpful to keep in mind the separation of missions between the CHT core team (top-down approach, involved in lobbying and speaking truth to power), and the community here (bottom-up approach, forming a grassroots movement).

As all the comments here highlight, the first meaningful, and potentially very impactful, step this community can take is raising awareness (let us call our target audience the “general public” instead of the “masses”) by shocking the public into self-realizations that have eluded us since the advent of the smartphone.

Not until we have this in place, in the process leading the public to seek further information on humane tech, will there be a powerful grassroots movement. At that point, we will have a much stronger mandate and support to spearhead advocacy projects.


Wow, this is an insightful discussion on a sentiment that has frustrated me to no end throughout my digital wellness journey. My current mindset is very closely aligned with @aschrijver & @LetsTalkUSA in that I believe the most important step is awareness - and not just that we face this problem, but that we are not equipped to deal with it effectively as individuals. It will take a group effort to inspire change in the habits of “the masses” and I’m more confident than ever in this group’s vision for doing so.


Oliver Stone warns people about smartphones at the beginning of his film Snowden. But how many viewers heeded his words? Very few I would guess. A student told me some years ago that when you learn the wrong way to do something, you must practice the right way several times.


I agree, but Snowden’s message was in large part highly technical, and his revelations have had huge, and lasting effects in the tech world. He may have contributed, together with a load of other revelations (FB/CA, data leaks, etc.) to the first seeds of awareness. A slightly creepy feeling when using tech, but that you still quickly put in the back of your head and ignore.

But, yes, his type of ‘campaign’ was not optimally targeted to the masses, we can conclude :slight_smile:


Good food for thought. I, for one, was very much freaked out by the whole incident. But as you rightly point out, we (myself included) move on and don’t change anything in our behaviors. It was scary indeed, but at the end of the day, most people feel they are very unlikely to be the target of their government’s prying eyes.

After all, most of us are not criminals, so this does not apply to us. The point to retain from all this Snowden affair though, and which we should highlight in all our campaigns, is that we have actively given away our privacy, not to the government (which we rightly believe, cannot charge us for any crime) but to tech companies, which were more than happy to cooperate with the government.

Our private information is worth A LOT OF MONEY. Say you want to hire a private investigator. You will have to pay a lot to get private details about someone. This is a costly affair.

Now with tech companies, who knows where your private data goes. You’re not paying for anything. Do you think there’s such a thing as a free lunch? You see where this is going.

Right now, I believe tech companies are, on the whole, innocent. There was already much to gain by providing advertisers with segmentation and market data, customer feedback and so on. But in the future, there lies a big risk that things will get increasingly, and disturbingly intimate and private.

Let us raise public awareness about the major risks associated with disclosing anything private online. The general rule of thumb would be “any detail you enter online should be something you would be entirely comfortable sharing with the whole world”

split this topic #29

A post was split to a new topic: Firefox Monitor: Find out if your personal data was ever part of a Data Breach


Yes, borja, I commented on your Medium post and have pointed several of my colleagues to it. It is an important topic.
With regards to what I would like to see; I think it needs to start with a more comprehensive legal framework defining privacy and what the public’s rights are. Currently, the global public is unwittingly engaging in a huge social experiment… with many unintended consequences (and some intended). There are significant economic consequences, such as job destruction, that might have been avoided.
It is hard to do justice to the topic on a message board, but I hope this community gains momentum and I intend on telling people to join us!