By: Rachel Gaunt: For years I have been talking to people about the risks of wireless radiation. People who already “get it” are an easy audience. They nod and agree vehemently. But conversing with people who are new to this subject has not been so easy.
Too often I see their eyes glaze over, watch them shift uncomfortably, or frown and get defensive. The more I ramp up my passion about the subject the more they retreat.
As someone who has worked extensively in the field of communication and consumer motivation, I’m no stranger to activist campaigns, but this was a new level of puzzle. Why didn’t these folks – my family and my dear friends -want to hear the truth about some critical information pertinent to their health?
I used to fantasize that if I just got the exact right message or the right order of facts, they would magically come around and see the light.
But if there was one exact right message I hadn’t yet found it.
It wasn’t until I conducted some creative concept focus groups that I glimpsed the answer. This small-scale qualitative research helped me see what NOT to do. It also shed light on a way to get through the defense and reach people successfully.
Today I feel like there is a way to get through to people. It is not magic, it is a particular four step formula that I want to share.
Step One: Making the Invisible Visible
First off, the opening gambit has to change their worldview. It has to affect them viscerally. It is not enough to appeal to their rational brain alone, it has to touch their whole being, head, heart and instinct…. something they feel deep in their gut. It is only a visceral response that changes their worldview and opens the door.
Having tested several creative concepts with parents, the one concept that consistently got everyone’s attention used SOUND. With a concept entitled, “If your ears could hear what your body can feel,” I would show them what wireless radiation sounds like with my meter. I use this High Frequency meter.
I showed them what their phones sounded like, what their routers sound like and just like that – bang – the ground shifted. What was once invisible is now visible – or in this case audible – and having heard it, it cannot be unheard.
“Wow” said a friend and colleague the other day, “when you were talking earlier about all the research I thought you sounded like a crazy lady, but now I get it.” “Next time,” she added helpfully, “you should skip all the factual intro and just get your meter out.”
And she’s right. It is this sound shock that gets people’s attention. They are now listening in a way that they weren’t before. They can see that there is something there that needs attention.
Sound gets their attention and proves that wireless radiation is real and powerful.
Step Two: Factual back up
Step Two is to quickly back it up with one or two, (maximum) brief, credible facts. Visuals help.
Two visuals I have found to be effective:
First is an x-ray image of a woman with two cell phone shaped tumors on the underside of each breast, (from a women who works in a cell phone factory with phones passing under her breasts all day).
Younger men show concern about sperm damage. Parents are concerned by the fact that brain cancer is now the leading cause of cancer among children. Don’t overdo this part. It is just enough to share some credible sourced research that they can grasp quickly. The important part is to move on to Step Three as quickly as possible because this is where they want to go.
Step Three: Easy steps to protect themselves
At this point they want to hear about solutions. They are engaged and want to know how to keep themselves and their family safe – but without having to give up too much or make big changes in their lives.
Step Three is to offer a few easy steps they can implement right away. Reassure them that they aren’t going to lose anything important. They will not want to give up their smart phone or their wireless internet access at home. Remember this is the first step on the path towards education – you want them come along with you and be an advocate, not get caught up in defending their current behavior. So make their first steps easy and painless.
- Don’t sleep with your phone – get a $10 alarm clock instead
- Put your phone on airplane whenever you don’t need it.
- Keep your phone out of your jeans pocket or bra.
- Buy a Signal Tamer (a protective fabric cover to fit over your home router) to reduce your wireless signal, and if possible unplug it at night.
- Refrain from using your phone in the car, unless lost and needing a map.
You get the picture. Focus on small baby steps that they can do, and feel good about. Take it one step at a time, and above all make them feel supported and clever for being one step ahead of this issue – never judged.
In this way they become part of the growing number of people in the know, and can pass information along to their networks.
Step Four: Normalization
The last step is small, but significant. Let them know that thousands of smart, forward thinking people are doing the same thing. They are taking small steps to protect themselves from their powerful tech gadgets. They are in good company. They are taking care of their family, and themselves.
People want reassurance that they are part of a growing number of people doing the right thing. Interestingly, a recent study found that when it came to recycling, people were more motivated by the message that all their neighbors were recycling, than facts about the effect of recycling on the planet.
As 5G wireless looms and the tide of politics and corporate power grows stronger, I try to remind myself about the way that movements start. They start at the bottom with handful of well-informed passionate people telling the truth.
As you all continue tell the truth in the world please feel free to try out this “sound” approach and make the invisible visible. I believe it is the first step to opening the door.