Human Impact

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impact ( ı̆mˊpăktˊ) n. 1. The striking of one body against another; a collision. 2. The effect of one thing upon another. – tr. v. ( ı̆m-păktˊ) impacted, -pacting, -pacts. To pack firmly together.

(Morris, William, ed., The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1973)

My son asked me last night, in the course of homework studies, “What are some human impacts?” Being old-school myself, I replied, “Do you mean things that affect humans?” Turns out he meant “the effects [on the environment] caused by humans.” I couldn’t help musing on the evolution of the word “impact” in recent decades – especially as a verb; today’s common usage bears no resemblance to the above ancient definition current when I graduated from high school. My guess is that people got tired of confusing “effect” (the noun: result) and “affect” (the verb: to influence), and picked a convenient substitute to use in both instances. Nevermind the fundamental difference in meaning,which is nowadays, totally obscured.

Sure enough, Google knew what my son meant immediately. He typed in “human impacts,” and the very first hit was a gravely illustrated list of things despoiled by careless human beings. Nevermind that many of the common “impacts” of human beings include such things as beautiful parks, impressive city skylines, and transportation networks that allow (not-so-careless, we wish) people to experience these man-made wonders, as well as the even more impressive natural ones.

I don’t need to point out the defects. I should acknowledge pain without promoting either panic or despair. I can admire the human beings who respond to sickness, or poverty, or waste, or injustice with a passion to overcome it.

Eruption by spettacolopuro on Flickr

So how do we promote positive impacts above the (admittedly ubiquitous) negative ones? How do we hear the symphony above the roar of increasing background noise? How do we appreciate the magnificent panoramic view in spite of the smaller pockets of disease or devastation?

I’m glad you asked, because at Oneupweb that’s what we help to accomplish. Take a look with me at some of the major categories on our Services Laundry List:

Bring your positive impact to the seekers out there.

  • Search Marketing
  • Online Media Planning

The impact of your message should be attractive.

  • Creative
  • Digital PR

Positive impact is multiplied by sharing.

  • Social Media

Stay ahead of the pack for long-lasting impact.

  • Research, Training and Consultation
  • Tracking and Analytics

Yes, (way back in ancient history) when I was in high school, I lived in Colorado Springs with a daily view of Pike’s Peak and the front range of the Rocky Mountains that would take your breath away. True, you couldn’t help noticing the terrible scar on the near face of that mountain range, due to past strip-mining activities. But I could never make myself believe that the scar spoils everything. How about you?

Image Credit: Eruption by spettacolopuro

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