The Danger of Being Tone Deaf


Entrepreneur/Angel Investing Expert and Bicycle Advocate Frank Peters shared on Facebook Monday Feb 4th an article posted on titled, "Americans Have Stopped Driving More and No One is Sure Why." In the piece author Rob Wile seems truly baffled, posting examples from the Department of Transportation and others to back up his claim that well, traffic has dropped off, but experts have no idea why (at least the experts he reached out to).

He seems to be scratching his head at the fact that our youth just aren't that keen on buying cars, this though he does share in the piece that traffic trends analyst Alan Pisarski (quoted in the piece - and offering the voice of reason) points to the colossal jobless rates for our young, their own parents possible joblessness, and yes and the overwhelming college loan debt. as possible reasons.

Is this article tongue in cheek? Can he be serious? I, and most of the readers who posted comments to the piece, are baffled at any expert's bafflement. The challenge to get credit is not even mentioned. Americans have been learning to live within their means for a change, gas is very expensive, and while our economy is in recovery, many many of us are far from recovered learning to live on part-time employment.

And it's dismaying to me that a business magazine would be so tone deaf as to not understand why people aren't driving more. Why not put a positive, well researched spin on the article and find out how much money people are saving by working from home, using mass transit and yes, the bike as a low cost and healthier way of getting around? Why not give your readers some productive cost saving ideas?

I think I'm going to write to him and tell him just that, though considering the tone of the 30 people who've posted at the end of the article, I probably don't need to.

Can really be serving its readership with such a tone deaf article? Even the "insider" readers are dismayed at the article's naiveté.

Interestingly enough a recent Seth Godin blog post was on "How to Listen."

Why Story Telling Matters - We're All Emotional Creatures at Heart!

Last week while filling out a "new media" grant application I was asked to share what I was most proud of in my life. As I turn 49 this Wednesday January 30th, it was particularly poignant timing. But I've already shared here on more than occasion what I'm so proud of (hint hint Women on Bikes SoCal) so instead I'd like to look forward and share one of the things I'd like to be most proud of in the future: utilizing emotionally engaging story telling to help engage and inspire a whole new audience of people who very much need daily exercise (and that's almost all of us) into riding a bike regularly.

I want to find a way to share a stories of riding bikes from around the world that will help encourage and empower your Mom, your sister, your cousin, your aunt, your uncle etc. to ride a bike. I want to use story telling to break down barriers whether of culture or language or style to motivate us to get moving on two wheels - and of course I want to rally others to join this cause (and have already!).

To that goal I want to become a good video editor, and I've been doing research and keeping lists of short compelling videos that have captured my attention. Just today I came across the 10x10 Educate Girls: Change the World video above via Twitter and well, it made me cry with both sadness and joy. Not only seeing these bright, beautiful faces of girls from around the world (born into almost unimaginable challenges) who are just looking for a chance to be all they can be, but also that very clearly the bike can be a tool for empowerment. I hope you'll take the time to watch it