If you haven’t seen a Cognitive Media video yet, stop what you’re doing and go watch a few, then subscribe to their blog feed. I love watching the videos they do for The RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce - longest name ever!) (The RSA’s YouTube channel for animated and non animated videos.) Even if I don’t agree with all their speaker’s, Cognitive Media’s animations help you at least gain an appreciation for their point of view. (Which is kind of the point behind their approach.)

Their most recent video by Philip Zimbardo called The Secret Powers of Time has some real gems in it. His overall point is that how you view time effects how you see the World and that drives your actions.

Their are 6 times of “Time Zones” people view the World through:

  1. Past Positive: Only remembers the good old times
  2. Past Negative: Only remembers regret and failure
  3. Present Hedonistic: Live only for pleasure and avoid pain
  4. Present Fated: It doesn’t pay to plan because everything I do is fate
  5. Future Oriented : This is where most of us are (meaning those who would take the time to write or read a business blog)
  6. Future Oriented: The religious view that life only really begins after death

In America a child drops pout of school every 9 seconds. I was really blown away by this one. To be fair I think they also count college but still that’s not good. It’s especially bad for minorities and males.

His point is that combine that with the stats that show, by a the time a boy is 21 years old he will have played 10,000 hours of video games alone. That apparently doesn’t include the time they play with friends. Our lives are becoming shaped by digital experiences we control and school is a passive environment we have no control over. Where the US has primarily been Future Oriented a large part of our digital youth are remaining Present Hedonistic.

My favorite points were the fact that youth don’t wear watches because they’re single function devices (does this make me a youth?) and that the most frustrating parts about our lives are waiting for our computer to boot up or download something. Woe unto are our first world problems and the plagues we must endure!!!

I know that there has been much hullabaloo made over this digitally rewiring of our brains. Many an author and educator has rung the warning bell to this fact but I think that it’s only 1/3 the problem. A third of the problem is that the education system literally teaches in the most inefficient way. A teacher conveying facts that students memorize and are then tested on how well they remember them is the worst way to educate someone. The other 1/3 (probably more like 1/2) is that these kids aren’t receiving the social support from families or religious or civic organizations.

I’m currently reading Nicholas Carr’s book (yes the “Is Google making us Stupid” guy) The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (I want to make sure I fully understand his arguments before I rip them a part). I’m also reading Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age which is kind of the counterpoint to Carr, pointing out all the good that can come from this shift. I personally think the truth’s somewhere in the middle (leaning more towards Shirky).

I don’t want to dismiss the problems that will stem from this current social evolution but, it’s just that, an evolution. And instead of complaining about it and trying to reverse it we need to learn from it, adapt the good parts of it and counter the negatives. Because yes there are negatives but there are far more positives.

Join the New Comm Biz Facebook Page or follow along on Twitter.

Tagged with:

This is going to be one of those posts.


You have probably heard some variation of this lately:

“Can you just take our (traditional) ideas and make them digital?”

I’ve even been asked to “Sprinkle your magic on this.” Uh, is that a euphemism for something? (#yesiam12) (#yesiusedahashtaginablog)

I understand why PR/Marketing people ask this. It’s easy. For the most part traditional tactics translate very well digitally. Social media has an amazing ability to amplify traditional efforts. But there’s a problem with that approach.

Social media is not an afterthought. Digital is not an add-on.

Don’t get me wrong, as much as I’d like to say we should only be doing social/digital, that’s not right either.

Every effort should be addressed by identifying your customer, their needs and the best way to help them. From there the tactics become obvious.


Tagged with:

Bad Behavior has blocked 930 access attempts in the last 7 days.