EVIL, EVIL, EVIL is what I thought when I read Using Values Modes by Chris Rose and Pat Dade. It just goes against what I believe about human autonomy, individual integrity, and self determination. I was evil for engaging with this evil- these are my reflections; on first glance anyway.
I just can't get myself into a frame of mind where I start to segment people into three broad categories and target them that way. I just can't do that, I won't do that. It's just so wrong. It feels wrong.
The reason why I think it feels wrong is because we are trying to change and influence the world using things like personal narratives and positive value proposition and segmenting people into a few broad categories and appealing to them based on what we say they are feels like something Big Tobacco would do.
There's a reason why they had been so successful at selling their product to people.
I think we are scared to use any tactics that seem to be similar, even if only slightly, to get the messages that we want to put out into the world. I think that maybe, it's because a lot of the work that we do is ideologically driven, or based on strong values and beliefs that we probably get into thinking that all we need to do is to share facts about our chosen issue and people will convert based on information alone.
We've found over the last several weeks that this isn't necessarily the case, people are guided by values and feelings.
So what about Using Values Modes? Well, I think we ignore this sort of work at our own peril, because ultimately we can't talk to everyone. Even if our resources were unlimited, using them to try to influence everyone at once will only just waste them and dilute our message. We want to make sure that we try to place people into categories, whatever they may be, so that we can speak to people based on those groupings.
Even if I don't like this approach, which I don't, it works and it is being used already by those who would seek to promote things that harm us, our societies and, our planet. We ignore these methods at our own peril.
Ultimately, why not use these methods for good? Maybe we shouldn't deride them as purely evil, only because some evil doers use them.
What would I do differently?
Based on this reading? Not much, but in future I'm not going to be quick to deride the use of these tactics as they can potentially save us a lot of time, money and, effort.