Shop Local, Eat Local, Read Local
We had an advertiser, who shall remain unnamed, who, when approached about plans for advertising their local business in the local newspaper replied, “Well, I don’t think I’m going to advertise in the paper this year. I am just going to advertise on Facebook.”
Our response? A “grit your teeth” and “have a nice day” sort of exit. What we REALLY wanted to say, but didn’t, was: “Well, I don’t think I’m going to come into your store this year. I am just going to order everything online from Amazon.”
Yes, it’s the same thing.
See, when people talk about “shopping local,” that includes local businesses such as the radio station and newspaper which, in turn, help promote businesses and support the local economy.
By the way, if there are any readers out there who are not aware of this, the radio station and this newspaper are for-profit (although not a LOT of profit) businesses.
The newspaper does have a journalism and public-service mission of keeping government accountable, recording events in the lives of our community, and preserving the rich history of our area.
In order to do that, however, we have to sell advertising and subscriptions. Again, we are a local business.
While I understand the lure of “free” exposure on social media, there are innumerable unintended consequences associated with “feeding the beast” of Big Tech instead of investing in the local economy.
Frankly, Facebook has stolen enough of our time and money. While I do not begrudge the grandmother who stays in touch with her grandkids through Facebook, social media is extremely harmful. This is not just an opinion.
A 2020 documentary film titled The Social Dilemma exposes the diabolical nature of algorithms and the addictive nature of social media. With testimony from those who helped create the beast, it’s a chilling warning.
There are many, but one quote stands out from The Social Dilemma: “We’ve created a world in which online connection has become primary. Especially for younger generations. And yet, in that world, anytime two people connect, the only way it’s financed is through a sneaky third person who’s paying to manipulate those two people. So we’ve created an entire global generation of people who were raised within a context with the very meaning of communication, the very meaning of culture, is manipulation.” – Jaron Lainer, computer scientist and virtual reality pioneer.
That’s pretty scary. So, how do we recover our senses and bring back control of our own lives and destinies?
We purposefully cultivate LOCAL connections, PERSONAL relationships, COMMUNITY interaction.
It’s not about “likes” and “hearts” and “comments.” It’s about face-to-face encounters, genuine respect, and the realization we are – whether we like it all the time or not – bound together in community as human creatures.
So what can we do to begin the process of “doing real community?”
We stop feeding the beast and we shop local, eat local, even read local. As you can see below, we have begun a new ad campaign reminding people of the importance of local.
The ad reminds us: Local businesses and restaurants need your support more than ever. Whether you visit stores, get delivery or shop online, keep your spending local and keep your community healthy.
Newspapers are LOCAL. We are dedicated to keeping you informed, safe and connected and care about the issues that are important to our neighbors, our schools and our businesses.
When you support your local newspaper, you support your community.
Shop local. Eat local. Read local.