How To Evaluate Online Obligations

My good friend Cindy Cotte Griffiths is a prodigious volunteer and always has been. She’s the leader of a Cub Scout pack, chair of a city commission, active in her church, and in her childrens’ schools. She’s also my partner in the hyperlocal news site, Rockville Central.

Me in Second Life (Bradrourke Dynamo)
Me in Second Life (Bradrourke Dynamo)

The other day Cindy wrote about the pull online commitments can exert, in the face of offline, real world interactions. We seem constantly pulled away from reality to tend to online business. For many, this can be vexing. For volunteers intent on helping those around them, it can be even more of a dilemma.

Cindy has developed some questions she asks herself in evaluating new online obligations, to try to help keep it all in balance:

  • Does the organization have a positive influence on a priority in my life, such as my children?
  • What do I get out of the experience personally?
  • Am I truly helping a broader good or cause?
  • Will the online interaction improve an aspect of my real life community or career?

I really like these.

3 thoughts on “How To Evaluate Online Obligations”

  1. Honestly, if the things you do on line don’t feel like “real life,” you shouldn’t be doing them. I mean, if receiving an e-mail message from a friend feels less “real” than receiving a letter from that friend, you need a different way to communicate with that friend.

  2. Cindy, I like your evaluating concepts. All this internet stuff has been promoted as the way to go and I am doing some but I am amazed at how much time it “takes” as opposed to “saves”. On the other hand, the youtube videos that we did as introductions to pet care for various species are not only helping customers and local pet owners but people all around the world apparently. So despite myself, I do feel it’s having a worthwhile impact. Ruth

  3. Ruth, Our work to create the online Rockville Central community has had many benefits, but one of the absolute best has been becoming a real life friend with you. What surprised me was truly equating my online volunteer work with my real life volunteer work. As you demonstrate, we can do much good online in some very new and different ways. Cindy

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