Milestones, Not Making A Big Deal Out of Ordinary Things and... the Attention Economy
In a small ceremony in a fruitful vegetable garden in the Pacific Northwest, @denmarkguy observed the milestone of reaching 10,000 Hive Power by watering the tomatoes.
No, the above didn't actually happen... it's totally "Fake News."
The tomatoes are growing quickly, now!
Yes, I did get to 10,000 HP today... I noticed it and said "Oh, look at that!" to myself and moved along with my day. I'm just posting it here because it's kind of cool to be able to look back and know "when something happened."
However, I bring it up as an editorial comment on the way modern life seems to be turning the slightest of events and milestones into something akin to "International News."
When did so many people become so terribly self-important? Or are we merely looking at a feedback loop of people having felt so powerless in the greater scheme of things for so long that they are using every possible opportunity to throw a party in observation of what ultimately amounts to trivialities? Or have we become that starved for content and news of real substance that we manufacture trivialities in order to insert something into the empty spaces?
No, I'm not trying to diminish people's experiences... but there are a lot of things in life that just aren't that big a deal.
Sure the advent of the Internet, with self-publishing and social media audiences at our fingertips, has enabled us all to turn molehills into mountains at the drop of a hat. And lots and lots of people do.
Then again, maybe people just like to congratulate themselves because nobody else is likely to. I definitely feel familiar with that feeling!
"Congratulations on finding and putting on a pair of clean and MATCHING socks today! You get a gold star!"
Am I being petty and grumpy here? Maybe... but I do find myself wondering what sort of world is creating people who — quite literally — might have an emotional meltdown because they only got 11 likes on the Instagram picture of the lunch taco they just posted.
As I sit back and ponder this a bit further, I can't help but think of this emerging field we call "The Attention Economy."
Somehow, it seems like we are inexorably moving towards a paradigm in which the picture of that Taco has value because it inspires people to spend a few seconds of their life clicking on a link, and then a few seconds more giving it a thumbs-up.
That being the case, it would seem that we are literally redefining the entire concept of what "value" means, and what is worth something. And that notion of "value" no longer seems to be connected to actual tangible utility, but more to whether or not someone receives a small injection of dopamine with each "like" on their taco picture.
Of course, we should probably take everything I am writing here with a grain of salt because I have rounded 60 years of age and thus am a viable target for being labeled "too old to understand," by people who are deeply entrenched in this new paradigm, even if they don't necessarily understand the nature of it, themselves.
I guess my reticence comes in part from knowing that aforesaid taco is a tangible item and it had to come from somewhere, because merely posting a picture of it on Instagram did not make it magically appear out of thin air. Somebody still has to be growing vegetables and making tortillas and keeping cattle, for that taco to happen... and playing Farmville doeth not a taco make!
So, from where I am sitting, actually growing some lettuce and tomatoes (which I DO do!) is a far bigger deal than posting a picture of a taco!
But, as I said, I am probably "too old" to understand what's going on!
Thanks for reading, and have a great remainder of your week!
How about YOU? Do you think we tend to turn minor things into major events? What do you think the greater emphasis on the "Attention Economy" will bring the world? How will be balance the tangible and the intangible? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!
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Created at 20210721 12:50 PDT