Great. Great. GREAT piece on NPR last week on Nicholas Carr, the author of “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.” Long story short, that while the internet is great at giving us a lot of bite-sized pieces of information in short amounts of time, there’s also a downside. Carr argues, “even if people get better at hopping from page to page, they will still be losing their abilities to employ a ‘slower, more contemplative mode of thought.’ He says research shows that as people get better at multitasking, they ‘become less creative in their thinking.’”
I have the same feeling about that niche of the internet called, you guessed it, social media. Bite-sized glimpses of lives. Images. Links. 140-character blips. We try to take it all in while jumping from site to site. And it becomes the echo-chamber. We get caught up in the whirlwind and we don’t deeply about anything else except social media. When I think back over the past couple of years, I can easily remember that the biggest lessons I learned or things that influenced my thinking and executions came from things OUTSIDE of social media articles. A screenwriter talking about the elements of story. A lone dancer at a music festival doing his own thing like nobody’s watching.
Even trying hard to cull down my Twitter stream, it’s still littered with link after link to social media articles that all are trying desperately to prove the worth of the medium. Oh, it has many redeeming qualities. But when we all start talking (and listening) to only one another – and especially when we don’t question each other – we’re homogenizing the thinking. And nothing new comes out of that.
So I challenge to go draw inspiration from somewhere else. Get lost deep in thought. Learn from other disciplines that have nothing to do with marketing or PR or digital or social media. (And don’t give me that BS that “everything is social.”) Go on now.