Allow me to just geek out for a moment and say that last week’s Lunch for Good event was flat out awesome, in my humble opinion. The subject of critical thinking is crucial to our mission at Lunch.com, so it was no coincidence that the majority of the conversation touched at the core of what we’re working to build. I’m still amazed at how comfortable everyone is at piping up to voice their opinions with the group. It really speaks to the quality group we’ve assembled for these discussions. With this many smart people actively engaged in brainstorming how we can evolve for the better, I’m feeling more optimistic than ever (and that’s saying something).
There were so many unique and provocative ideas raised around our topic of sparking more critical thought in online contribution, I’m still trying to process it all, actually. Among my favorite ideas from the day was the “what if” there was a “hold that thought… and think about it for a moment” intercept that popped up before you could hit “publish.” This spoke directly to the notion of responding rather than reacting. I also heard that very concept (respond vs. react) interestingly get teased apart to address the point that not everything online is an argument. Much of what’s posted (particularly on our platform at Lunch.com) is simply an opinion or reflection on an experience, not necessarily a debate. Yet, even in those scenarios the principles of critical thought still apply.
Everyone who’s contributing online could benefit if we really broke down the why’s behind what we’re expressing. We could also grow not only the volume of what’s shared, but the quality, by using more critical thought as we reflect on the world around us. There’s very little – if anything – that couldn’t stand for a bit of scrutiny and constructive analysis. The power of tapping into a collective of that much critical thought, provided by a far greater portion of the online population … well, it could change the world.
Another idea proposed was to have people post a photo of their face, reflecting their emotion at the moment of contributing their opinion or comment. This struck close to home for me, as we’ve been working very hard at Lunch.com to instill a culture that encourages members to use real photos of their faces as profile pics (as opposed to avatars, etc). It actually doubles back to a bit of Lunch for Good #1, where we discussed responsible participation. It was interesting though to think of it not just as an accountability measure, but as a way to tap into how people are feeling when their sharing their critical thought.
In the end, I can’t begin to cover all of the cool ideas shared, and definitely recommend you take a look at the video (posting in the next day or so) to get a full recap. Meantime, stay tuned for the third installment of our Lunch for Good series, coming November 18. We’ll cover how the issues we’ve discussed so far can lead up to helping people find common ground – really the ultimate of our social good goals (not to mention the crux of everything Lunch.com is about!).