We can all remember a time back in elementary or middle school when having an envelope dropped on your desk emblazoned with your name written in loopy cursive was the most exciting part of the day.
Someone had taken the time to personally invite you to something, to tangibly write it out on some card with Spongebob Squarepants on it. They cared enough to reach out to you with an invitation, and in turn, you would care enough to show up.
It may not be the exact same thing as the concept of the poster, which the UNB Student Union has opted to largely strip from campus walls this year, but it’s the same idea.
President Greg Bailey has defended the decision to move away from posters by stating: “Posters in terms of communication are lazy. You’re not really interacting with anyone; you’re just putting information out there and hoping that people get it.”
Bailey goes on to indicate that the union would like to instead focus their efforts on an increased social media presence and improved digital communication.
I would argue that this is lazier than anything.
In this world of ever-evolving technology and ever-dwindling real life social interaction, it’s more of a challenge than ever to reach out and get people to show up to things.
Pinning much of these efforts on social media, where students are receiving about a million invitations to a million different events they won’t show up to every nanosecond, not to mention being distracted by a constant tidal wave of BuzzFeed articles featuring such gold nuggets as the Top 12 Alpacas in Birthday Hats and the like, is increasingly lazy and ineffective all the time.
According to numbers projected by several Brunswickan employees at the recent Rich Aucoin concert hosted by the union, a measly 30 or 40 people showed up. Bailey indicated this had nothing to do with the decline in posters.
Maybe he’s right. Maybe a big part of the problem isn’t the plunge in real-life reach-out alone, but the lack of general interest among people — more specifically, twentysomethings — to get out and do stuff.
But this isn’t an excuse to simply lie down in defeat by essentially, “just putting information out there and hoping that people get it,” which is exactly what social media is increasingly becoming.
Facebook may allow for specific individual invites in a way that posters don’t, but when you’re one of anonymous hundreds to be invited to something with the least possible amount of effort, are you really likely to show up?
Third-year kinesiology student Tasha Dickinson said it best in this article: “There’s a lot of stuff that goes on that no one knows about.”
Maybe it’s time we actually address this in a real-life reach-out way instead of just posting about it.
Tess Allen is the Editor-in-Chief of the Brunswickan.