How many of these statements go unchallenged?
- “It’s all about the conversation.”
- “Brands that engage succeed.”
- “You have to give before you can take.”
- “The future is Free.”
Insert your own favorites, and they don’t have to be from the realm of communication and marketing. They might be from economics, might be from politics, might be from sociology. The point remains – you have a new job.
And just what did we all do to earn that demotion? We started opting into technologies that allowed us to fill our cups with the same stuff we drank yesterday. We listen to the same voices, visit the same websites, and breathe the same air as we did yesterday. Technology has imploded the media, which is now understaffed and can’t deliver on the promise of covering everything – and business models have adjusted to give us what we want, instead of what we need.
Bottom line? We’re spoiled, and we’re wallowing in our own by-products.
Drowning in Echo
We surround ourselves with the same people – or in the case of social networks, the same types of people as the people we’re connected to now. We add in those we used to go to work with, and those we used to go to school with… and that’s okay. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of our need to be challenged.
When you surround yourself with 100 people who repeat the same mantra, day in, day out, you do more than start to believe it. You accept it as a fundamental premise by which everything else is to be judged. And when reality doesn’t jibe with our expectations, we’ll cling to the premise and start figuring out what other contributing factors got in the way of Natural Law.
We did this to ourselves. We wrap ourselves in these cocoons of interest, bound tight to those just like us. Identical peas in pods. We have shut out news and information sources that might challenge those premises. Self-exile from truth. We parrot the rest of the flock rather than be seen raising a squawk.
Can you Dare to be Dumb?
What starts as a silly or dumb question can shake a loose foundation. We just have to be willing to ask it.
- What is your basis for that assertion?
- What is the evidence?
- Do you have statistical proof?
- Do you have correlation?
What you might find is that others have been skating along, assuming others have known what they are talking about – and never taking the risk to be Dumb. But “Dumb” allows you to rethink everything, free of the untested and unsupported assertions of a crowd.
And in the end, what do you want? Popularity? Or impact and effectiveness?