I have found myself in a slight panic in the last day or so. But it wasn’t the “normal” things over which I might push the “panic” button. It was something weird. Weird enough to blog about anyway…
My panic moments have involved information. Content. And here’s the weird part. I was freaking out about the fact that I had not heard about some particular information. The content actually wasn’t that important or life-changing in the least. But I was behind. Others had received the information before I did and it caused me to freak.
We live in an unusual time. A time where the immediacy of content, not the content itself determines validity. What we know isn’t as important as how quickly we know…or if we are to be honest…who knew it before us. If we don’t know it first, then we can’t capitalize on it first. This used to be the linchpin of gossip. Now, it’s the linchpin of going “viral.” And someone else will beat us to the next great idea. It’s become apparent that the next great idea is also the next great fleeting idea. So there’s little chance that even though we may be first, we will only be first for a short time. It’s not whether you are watching the same video – it’s whether you can download it in 3G or 4G.
This creates two different types of responses in people. The first is mild panic and clamoring to be first. That is what I have felt lately. The second response is the more mature one I think. And that response is “What’s the rush?” Eventually, the immediacy of content thrills us little and the quality of content surfaces again. And we stop clamoring to gain information because we realize that the information is useless anyway. It has no staying power. It’s not quality. It doesn’t speak to anything beyond self-gratification.
Eventually we have to stop clamoring to purchase the new Lady Gaga album from Amazon because it’s only 99¢. The question has nothing to do with Lady Gaga’s availability. It has to do with whether or not her music is worth 99¢ or $99. Does it have staying power? Do any of the items we drool over have staying power? Are we chasing products or merely newer versions of the same products?
I have a theory. If it is quality content, it will still be here once the immediacy of that content is gone. Good things stick around. If that’s true, then what’s the rush?