Technology is irresistible because we meatbags are irrational but predictable. And it’s my job as a strategist at a digital agency to leverage that.

Yes, that’s a bald dude with glasses, whose initials are SG. But, no. Not me.

Regardless, I love this interview. Particularly the bit starting at ~6:15 about the perils of technophilia and kids:

“Screens bring everything to you, and demand nothing of you. And as. a kid, you gravitate towards the easiest thing and expect that every time. So, if you make life incredibly easy for kids all the time, they’re not gonna wanna do anything that requires any effort.”

It resonated with me for a few reasons.

  1. I’m a father of 4. Yeah, 4. And yeah, we’ve figured out where babies come from now, thank you. Kidding (<– and dad puns 😂) aside, y’all ad, tech, and content creators are really damn good at your jobs. My kids will watch a talking head video of a person playing a video game. For hours (if we’d let them, which we don’t). Our youngest absolutely loves watching videos of other people unboxing and playing with toys. Think about that.
  2. As a UX strategist, brand strategist, and all around marketing nerd, it got me wondering: when entertainment becomes advertising (cough Disney or EA or about a million other entertainment companies cough) and advertising becomes entertainment, where does that put our culture? What does that do to our expectations of art? Has it always been this way? In Fight Club– one of my favorite movies of all time– Tyler Durden talks about “single serving” friends. Do we now have single serving culture? Disposable, transient, as ephemeral as a wisp of Homer Simpson’s combover? Is that a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing? What does that mean for strategists looking to dig up cultural tensions and human truths?
  3. As an employer of Gens X and Y (and Z?)… it. makes. so. much. sense. now. Millenials came of age with a supercomputer in their pocket which brings the world to them and demands (almost) nothing in return. It also reminded me of  a fascinating article in The Atlantic from a few years ago, called The Overprotected Kid. The subhead reads: “A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.” Worth a read if you have a few more minutes. Anyway, over the past couple decades, we’ve stripped kids of their independence and given them the world on a platter screen. Is it any wonder, then, that millenials and Gen Y– and whateverthefuck we’re calling the generation after that– have drastically different views on work, life, and how the two should balance?

Every generation decries the changes wrought on culture and civilization by their younger counterparts. It signals the transfer of influence, control, and power. This ain’t the end of civilization. But, it does have profound implications for any strategist at a digital agency.

What’d I miss? Or am I now the old dude on the porch shouting “get off my lawn!”?