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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Do We Over Use Ideas?

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I'm currently reading a wonderful collection of essays written by Christy Wampole entitled: "The Other Serious". The essays primarily focus on "big picture" ideas. Thus far, it has been a fascinating read, and I encourage everyone to check it out. One essay I would particularly like to focus on is entitled: "The Great American Irony Binge" Wampole explores whether or not American culture is over using irony. (Spoiler Alert: we are.)

According to Wampole the primary culprit for this over use of irony is social media and the Internet. I don't want to go too much more detail pertaining to her reasoning for this hypothesis because I think you should read the essay. But I will say that Wampole does an absolutely elegant job supporting her hypothesis. It's truly a captivating essay.

I read this essay two days ago, but I'm still thinking about it. A single idea keeps popping into my head, and that is if people read more, particular books, would this problem even exist? With digital media, anyone can have a blog, podcast, or video series. Which is great. It's democratizing the media. But with all of the positives, there is a drawback that society didn't take into account. Creating truly good media is hard. It takes years of training and practicing to understand how to organize thoughts, the acts of stories, and which is the best way to present said story/idea. Just because you can do something, doesn't necessarily mean that you should do. That's one of the benefits of the "professional" media. Not everyone is published, or broadcasted. Theoretically this portion of the media should be the best of the best. (This previous statement is always up for debate.) 

So how does all of this tie back into people reading more. Well, since we now have limitless creators, we tend to spend more time on the Internet. We as a society are always looking for new ideas, forms of entertainment, and what have you. The Internet is home to the aforementioned, unfortunately however, it is also home to complete chaos and negativity. Thoughts aren't always completely organized or thought out. There's also a general nastiness that exists online that unfortunately can be contagious for a few. And quite frankly, the Internet is home to information overload. An individual can't always process everything that is being thrown at them.

A printed book is different though. It is only home to a select amount of information. And yes some of that information can and is negativity, just like the Internet, but I feel that it's a little more self-contained. Ultimately I think that the knowledge you obtain from a traditional book is so much more long lasting than information that can be changed at the drop of a hat. Case in point, I'm still thinking about the ideas Wampole presented in her essay. I cannot remember the last time this has happened to me with Internet content.

I don't think that we should completely abandoned the Internet, or that everything on here is bad. But it may be a good idea that every once in awhile we diversify how we get our content. It doesn't always have to come from the Internet.


Matt Maldre said...

Ahhh, today a blog post in my RSS reader came up from Christy Wampole. The post is about a new book she is releasing called "Rootedness." Which sounds like an interesting book. But then I was thinking, "why does this name Christy Wampole sound familiar? I looked through my Evernote, Instapaper, saved PDFs; but I couldn't find anything. Then I went back to my RSS reader and did a search for her name. Up comes this blog post. Ahhh! Full circle.

When I read your blog post, I subscribed to Chrisy Wampole's blog.

Chi-Town Kid 83 said...

That's crazy. I love the full circle nature of it.