Out­rage is not a com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­egy
Jeff & Lindsay Sage / 18 September 2018

Red Eye by Quais Sarhan.


Stare at your news feed too long these days and it can feel like the world is burning. 

It's not.

But if you’re hoping for equality and progressive values to win out across the globe, outrage as a communication strategy isn't going to cut it.

Social unrest.
Autocratic leadership.
Opioid epidemics.
Young white men with torches hating multiculturalism.
Less than rapid transit. 

These are shitty things. But none of them will bend toward justice because your Twitter feed is packed with protest and punchlines against the social provocateur of the day. 

Outrage is what they want.
Outrage legitimizes them.
And outrage distracts from the real issues.  

Stop being outraged. 

Instead, double down on the big picture

  • Start slinging a positive case in support of progress; 
  • Be open to dialogue and self reflection; 
  • If someone criticizes your methods, consider that it’s not the same as criticising your goals. 

Finding something new to be offended by everyday is a waste of your time, talent and treasure. 

Your city, your country and your planet tolerate gross injustice everyday. But the petty acts aren’t worth your time. 

Instead, let them fuel your focus on the larger injustice. The media doesn’t tell us how the world is changing. It tells us where the world went wrong in the moment. 

You’ll never change a mind with grand pronouncements fueled by your outrage on the issue of the day. 

Re-cast your efforts and your story. Bite sized, emotional and aimed at making your movement matter more.  

One person at a time.  

Written hypocritically by two people who spend their fair share of time being outraged.

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