“Crop Mobs” Vs. A Coworker’s Prevalent Internet Gripe

For the most part, mainstream media has picked the social networking bone clean, but this bit of fresh reporting spotlights a growing online tribe who’ve taken “Farm Aid” beyond rock concerts. Check out a great piece on Crop Mobs here.

My favorite quote:

“People are interested in authentic work,” [Trace Ramsey] said. “I think they’re tired of what they’ve been told they should accomplish in their life, and they’re starting to realize that it’s not all that exciting or beneficial from a community perspective or an individual perspective.”

Shortly after reading this, a coworker, fired up about possible layoffs, remarked that “The internet’s destroying real human interaction. There isn’t that person-to-person contact anymore.” With the article fresh in my mind, I couldn’t help think of how involved groups like Crop Mob view the internet.

Coworker didn’t mean anything by it, and, of course, we could make a compelling case to support her viewpoint. There’s nothing more impersonal than, say, the online job application process. Yet a few mavens utilized a free, online tool to inform, organize and, wait for it, connect with other like-minded and driven dirt fiends. In real life. Human to human.

The internet, social networking, whatever umbrella term you use, is a means to an end, not the end. In this case, Crop Mobs filled a need through a simple Facebook page, some word of mouth and then, most importantly, sincerity and lots of effort. In other words, they did more than have an online pep rally. Hands-on compassion is contagious.

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