Sometimes…it takes just one little thing after so many big things to finally push people over the cliff.And maybe it is the time of the year or the stress of the seasonal holiday rush but honestly, I think we all have our limits.
Earlier this week Premier Clark joined Lynda Steele on CKNW for an interview on a variety of topics. Lynda played a few comments from people criticizing the first time home buyers down payment loan program that the premier had earlier announced with rosy cheeks and a Cheshire cat smile of satisfaction.
Clark listened to the peoples comments. Her response? “Most of those people don’t live in the real world…” And she said it with such a complete tone of disbelief that said loudly she thought those critics were crazy!
It’s alarming enough she doesn’t seem to understand why nearly every economist and finance critic has completely panned her plan, but her comment really told me how out of touch she was with many people in BC struggling and worried about making ends meet.
By yesterday morning, that feeling hadn’t faded. In fact I was a bit more peeved at hera arrogance. Not living in the real world? Hey we aren’t the ones leasing a nice place for several thousand dollars every month while renting out her own home, flying back and forth to a riding in the interior she doesn’t even live in on chartered flights.
We are the ones trying to make ends meet in a time when every trip to the grocery store results in higher bills for the same food. Where some have to decide which bill to pay this month because they are all going up. Where heating your home or buying food is a real choice thousands have to make every day. And where breakfast programs for children who go to school with no breakfast are sponsored by groups and businesses because 1 in 5 kids live in poverty in this province and schools are already short of funding.
So I took to twitter yesterday morning and after a few tries with hashtags that didn’t seem quite right came up with one that worked. And I hoped maybe a few people would catch on and tweet some examples…
But what happened yesterday – and continues today – was phenomenal.
#notrealworld struck a chord with people across every walk of life: seniors, teens, millenials, professionals, blue collar workers, moms and everyone in between.
Everyone is using it: regular people who don’t belong to any party, conservatives, formerly liberal voters, ndp and greens. It was even trending in Canada most of yesterday in the top 10 and often first on the sidebar list! And it was trending again when I woke up this morning. With our combined reach people back east were watching too.
The #notrealworld hashtag is here to stay and has lasting power which we will engage and expand on in the new year. You can follow here even without a twitter account but I strongly suggest you make the leap and start an account if you haven’t. It is a highly effective tool for sharing info quickly. https://twitter.com/hashtag/notrealworld?f=tweets&vertical=news&src=hash
Here are just a few of the tweets you’ll find as people expressed their disdain, their disappointment, their outrage and in many cases, sadness. And every single one matters.
And on it goes. Some are very sad as Peter’s tweet shown here. Sometimes policy has very real and irreversible impacts. But this is real life in BC . This is what is happening.
Some are snarky. Most are very factual and include links or screenshots. And most are from average people just trying to make a life who find the premiers comments more like a smack in the face than a comment on some well deserved criticism. And as the day went on and evening brought an entirely new wave of tweeters and tweets, something became clear…
People felt empowered, and dare I say hopeful to see a flood of reality showing them they were not alone in their feelings. It was a collective shift in opinion and one that I think energized people in a way they haven’t felt in a while. And while this may be shown on social media now… I know that energy can be cultivated and engaged and translated into real world action on a grassroots level. Shine those lights. Let them attract others.Own your vote. Own the power your vote has. They spend hundreds of thousands to get that vote so they can stay in power…make them earn it.
So keep following that hashtag #notrealworld… and another I saw someone from UBC started #cantaffordChristy. Use them often and use them well. No rude or crude tweets please, there is enough factual info out there we really don’t need it and it’s just not cool.
Because in my #notreal world….this matters.And I think it does in yours too. Watch for my annual Christmas post soon!
*** I joined Drex who is filling in for Jon McComb today, to talk about the #notrealworld hashtag and you can listen to that here: https://omny.fm/shows/the-john-mccomb-show/n-otrealworld