I’m so fed up with agenda-based mass communication that I am becoming desensitized, even as a communication professional. Then just this week I was shown something in the first session of a new class that is still disturbing me days later. It’s an updated version of an old story about the perils of teenagers driving while distracted – predictable, but incredibly visually impactful. It’s very hard to watch, so be warned if you so choose: http://bit.ly/fQBLhS. I normally adamantly oppose messages that promote fear, but this video brings up questions for me as a communicator and as the aunt of an 18 year old who lives on her cell phone. Where is the line in getting a point across? What is too much? Is the shock value of the experience worth the potential saving of lives? Will it just be laughed off, disregarded, and seen as old fashioned, preachy melodrama? Too gruesome/why would you want anyone to look at something like this…? Negativity is not a healthy way to reinforce behavior. Still, having been guilty in the not-that-distant past of sending a text while driving [it was an urgent situation], I will never do so again after seeing this. Would love others’ thoughts on this use of mass communication.
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