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> Monday, March 21st, 2011 > Lifestyles > A new forum for a serious issue
A new forum for a serious issue
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Kirsten Rosenkrantz
Published: Monday, March 21st, 2011
We were all shown videos in high school about the dangers that go along with drinking irresponsibly, and have all seen the commercials on TV telling us how dangerous drinking and driving is. The seriousness of this issue is something that has been drilled into our brains for years. Why is it then that Mother's Against Drunk Driving still reports that 40 per cent of teenagers killed in road crashes have been drinking?
Billie Mintz, president of Artists Raising Consciousness Inc., said he hopes that his ground-breaking social media initiative will prove to be an effective way of reaching youth about the seriousness of drinking responsibly. Mintz will be in Forwell Hall at noon on March 22 to discuss this issue with students and "to talk about how students have been left out of the conversation about how to reach people," he said.
His latest project, The Message In The Bottle, is a website created as an open forum for discussion about responsible drinking and how messages being presented to the public can be more effective.
On the site is a video series showing this topic from various vantage points including: The Student, The Tragedy, University Life, The Non- Government Organization (NGO), The Brewers and The Comedians. "I spent two years in the front lines of the alcohol industry, and this is me reporting my findings," said Mintz of the project. People can watch videos showing each perspective and then can comment and become a part of the discussion. "The videos are just to bring everyone on the same page," said Mintz.
"The website will be a social technology to put us in the same room together," he continued. "There is no need for messaging, there needs to be a conversation." That's exactly what this website is doing. The Message In The Bottle recognizes the reality of alcohol consumption with students and instead of telling, it's asking and listening.
For many, with the pressures and freedoms that come with being a student, alcohol consumption is a reality.
Students finally have the opportunity to be a part of the messages being presented to them about a very serious subject. "The solution is not by saying, 'Let's make posters,'" said Mintz. Along with creating a platform for people to talk openly about this issue, Mintz is hoping that this site will begin to create social norms by including surveys, where students can easily and honestly provide more information about alcohol consumption.
"I'm looking for people to look differently at the issues and give a shit," said Mintz. "You guys are the smartest people in the room, you guys have the answers, you guys know." For years, messages about responsible drinking have been created behind closed doors, but by creating a discussion, Mintz is hoping the public will be able to come up with more effective solutions to one of our societies most serious issues.
To join the discussion visit themessageinthebottle.com.