“Mass Idea Abortion Threatens Global Future.” That was my first title for this post. But during revision it seemed a bit dramatic and sensationalistic, like something we might read on the cover of a tabloid, right next to a photo of the three-headed alien in Lady Gaga’s dressing room.
Lady Gaga. Now there’s an original idea, right? We watched her hatch out of an egg, wear slabs of meat, and dress like a man in a temporary gender switch for the MTV Video Music Awards. I don’t know where I’ve seen anyone quite like her… oh, wait. I’m having flashbacks now. Yes… I think I remember something similar about some obscure pop star from the 80’s. Well, nevermind. I guess Lady Gaga isn’t so original after all.
Seriously, where are all the new ideas? Where’s the ingenuity? What happened to thinking outside the box (of commercialism, consumerism, you name it)?
Some say that we live in a “post-idea” world. It’s all been done, and you can read about it from any device with an internet connection. We are drowning in information, like those hoarders featured on A&E. We need help, and cloud-based service providers have a solution. The Cloud is like The Container Store for digital chaos.
But we’re only organizing it, storing it away in a virtual box. There’s no time (or desire) to process that information by actually thinking.
In an article titled “The Elusive Big Idea,” professor and journalist Neal Gabler wrote, “Ideas are too airy, too impractical, too much work for too little reward. Few talk ideas. Everyone talks information, usually personal information. Where are you going? What are you doing? Who are you seeing? These are today’s big questions.”
Gabler goes on to explain that social networking sites play a big role in our mental laziness.
“It is certainly no accident that the post-idea world has sprung up alongside the social networking world. Even though there are sites and blogs dedicated to ideas, the most popular sites on the Web are basically information exchanges, designed to feed the insatiable information hunger, though this is hardly the kind of information that generates ideas,” Gabler said.
I like that wording: “the insatiable information hunger.” Reminds me of the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. Yum… info. Need info now… CRUNCH. CRUNCH. CRUNCH.
So what’s the big deal anyway? Who cares if we can’t think deeply for ourselves? What difference does it make that our collective minds overflow with the minor details of celebrity gossip and distant friends-of-a-friend-of-a-friend?
If you’re destined to remain the average American consumer, plodding through life from one new product to another, keeping track of the decades via TMZ, just hoping your retirement fund stays intact so you can quit work and watch Glee on a flatscreen, then no problem. But then again…
What if you actually have something original to offer? What if there’s an idea inside of you, something that can change even a corner of our world for the better, an idea whose time has come, ready to be hatched?
Oops, I almost forgot – Lady Gaga already did the hatching thing. Oh well. Guess I’ll just go read more about it online, maybe I’ll chat with my peeps and see what they thought of her latest recent photo shoot (did you hear? She didn’t wear any makeup! None at all! Can you believe it?).
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
(Quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, civil rights advocate, international author / speaker, and ranked in the top ten of Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.)