Depressed by Current Events? Use Marketing Tunnel Vision

September 15, 2011 |  by  |  Marketing
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If humanity incarnate struck a pose, its better side would be technology and marketing.

Art-drawing-MC-Escher- Eye-1946-Mezzotint

M.C. Escher- "Eye" 1946

We each have limited bandwidth for consuming content. Some people focus on current events, some on specific political issues, some on celebrity gossip, and others on the ins and outs of Facebook marketing, SEO, and celebrities like Steve Jobs, Joe Jaffe, and Chris Brogan. I hone in on the latter; on digital marketing, technology, and consumer psychology. Here’s why it’s a better area on which to focus your limited attention and free time than the general news:

1. It’s less depressing.

Innovation moves us forward. It inspires progressive thinking. It improves the quality of life. Competition propels business in the free market. Marketing tries to master this and sell it.

2. It’s pleasantly unpredictable.

Yesterday (9/14/11), theatlantic.com published How Our Predictions for the 9/11 Decade Panned Out, a follow-up to Richard Clarke’s 2004 piece for the January/February 2005 Atlantic predicting what the world would be like ten years after September 11, 2001.

The most notable predictions were:
4. GDP Plunges and National Unemployment Skyrockets
7. Dissatisfaction with Politics Gives Rise to An Influential Third Party

Richard Clarke probably based his predictions on the outcomes of comparable historical events. In business and technology, the annual trend predictions every January are often prefaced with caveats. It’s hard to peg what the future holds and the Internet is written in ink. But in politics and history, prediction becomes easier as time passes and history repeats itself. Interpersonal and global affairs are both still rooted in universal human habits and traits. We enact the most familiar archetypal story time and again. The driving forces behind war, crime, and conflict do not change; they manifest in new ways. On the other hand, technology develops on a different trajectory, more vertical in nature. It’s more fun to follow. It has the potential to surprise you. Tunnel vision upon gadgets, podcasts, and completely meta Twitter debate over viral marketing campaigns is more flattering for our camera face.

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