Friday, May 02, 2008

how much should you care?

It's the dilemma of anyone in marketing or communications. We want to be in the loop. We need to know what's going on; what new technologies there are, how people are using them, what services are popping up that couldn't have existed a few years ago.. and so on.

I've always thoroughly enjoyed that part of my job. New stimulus and ideas everywhere; new perspectives and constant flux. But then something happens: You get older. And when you get older two things change:
1. Your job - no matter how much you love it - starts to become less important than other things (lovers, kids etc)
2. As much as you fight it, you become less tolerable of the things you're not keen on.

And 'umbrella-ing' (told you I was in marketing) those two things is your diminishing free time.

I'm pretty clued in, but my patience to fully indulge in things I'm not attracted to is being tested. Hence the title of my post.
How much should we care? Is it enough to just be aware of something and its impact? It's nice to think that is enough, but often the experience of that thing is more insightful than its anatomy or its presence in conversations.

Quick example: The Hills. I hate it. I hate everything about it. I can't even begin. Now a little part of me wants to open myself up to this kind of shit because my job is often to create populist content and ideas. But it's tough.
Then there's Twitter. I can't bring myself to do it. I find it tragic despite being fascinating. I should be a beta tester for every new Twitter that comes along, but I don't want to clog up my inbox with subscription messages from things I can't remember joining.

I used to be Mr Beta Tester. It wasn't my real name (also that would be amazing); but I'd be there on the front line, trying things out a few years before my friends hear about it. I can feel it happening. I'm fine at the moment - pretty damn savvy, but it's in danger of slipping.

Maybe I should take comfort in my passion for what first drew me to this industry: the creation of original ideas. I don't like holding a mirror up to pop culture, any more than I'm enjoying holding one up to myself.


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