Using technology to stimulate population growth

Published 7:00 am Friday, February 10, 2017

With today’s rapidly changing online world, it’s hard to imagine a time without it, especially for me, a person from the so-called “millennial generation.”

Yesterday I watched a presentation about how city and local businesses can maintain their online presence. This is all done in an effort to encourage tourism and promote new residents moving to the area.

Now, as most people would do these days, before I moved to Picayune, I Googled it. I looked at the city’s website, the county’s website and even Poplarville. I looked at all of the Wikipedia pages and anything else I could get my hands on before deciding to move here and make this community my home.

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As I listened to the presentation yesterday, I found myself thinking back to the copious amounts of the online research I did and how that shaped my opinion of Pearl River County.

It reminded me of when I was younger and my mother would do whatever research she could before we moved to a new city.

Oftentimes, there wasn’t much research she could do from several hundreds or thousands of miles away.

We just packed up and lived with whatever we found when we arrived. Or we would take multiple trips ahead of time, if time allotted, to get a grasp of what the area was like.

So why does all of this matter? Well, Mississippi is losing residents, and quickly, especially in rural areas. Young people are moving away after high school and oftentimes don’t come back.

That leaves the state with not only a numbers problem, but also an education problem, an economic problem and an aging population.

If young people aren’t deciding to stay to raise their families here, then the population is going to grow disproportionately older.

In today’s world, both of our municipalities, our county and our local businesses should look into maintaining a strong online presence to encourage young people to move to our area.

About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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