You’ve probably heard the saying, “Not in my backyard!” It’s an interesting statement. To me, it is meant to indicate that various problems the world experiences won’t be present in your general sphere of living. There shouldn’t be anyone starving in your proverbial backyard. There are no homeless in your backyard. Nobody is sick without ways to get better. Not in your backyard.
A lot of people feel quite fervently about taking care of their own first, then expanding out as people around them become more secure. Take care of the homeless in your neighborhood first, then maybe worry about the whole city, and then maybe, just maybe, take it to a national level. International problems may draw compassion, but priorities remain domestic in nature.
Here’s the thing, though. The online world – this whole “social media” thing I’ve been talking about here on ye olde blog – it has changed the way I look at my world. I talk to people almost every day who are from Canada (various parts), Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Malaysia, Australia, England, Scotland, and many other places too. These people have faces, voices, families, and friends that I know and recognize. If something happened in their city or in their country, I would feel as obligated to help them as I would to help my next-door neighbor. My backyard, my neighborhood, has become expansive.
This represents the framework for the #tweetdiner chat that will happen this week. We are trying a new day – Thursday, but the same time (9 PM EST). We’ll talk about what “backyard” means in this day and age and what the advantages and disadvantages of that kind of “local first” thinking are when it comes to social good in the online world.
Just search for the #tweetdiner hashtag on Twitter and jump in. I’m looking forward to the conversation and I hope you are too
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/15216811@N06/5619617675/ via Creative Commons