Let’s Create a world the children can be Excited to inherit
What did you get excited about as a child? Friendships, textiles, toys, typography, graphics, glossy magazine ads, fresh baked cookies?
How about being present, using all your senses, feeling what it means to be alive, in the moment? We know that we’re actively creating our world, so it’s important to make our little decisions mindfully.
Today’s children will be dealing, as we did, with a massive informational inheritance. They’ll have vast choices, of how, and what, they want to create. This rapidly changing world is definitely exciting, but it can also be overwhelming, if not completely depressing.
This past weekend I scheduled a newsletter and three social media posts, so I could step away from my glowing rectangle, and attempt to live my life. I spent some time enjoying the company of an old friend, playing at home with my kids, getting our Christmas stuff out, staying warm and finishing the book I was reading. The book, a biography of Marshall McLuhan by Douglas Coupland, had gone missing until we moved the bed to do flooring recently.
The subject of MM had come up during the time when the book was missing. I noticed a post by a business coach saying that getting your message, your content, out there is more important that what platform or medium you use. She actually used the phrase ‘the message is more important that the medium’…
So, naturally, I quipped about MM, but I suspected she actually knew nothing of his work. That’s when I was met with a magically Annie Hall moment. The business coach, whose business it is to convince you that your message matters, told me that she had taken an entire class on MM in grad school. But her takeaway, conveniently for her, was that the message is more important than the medium.
The Medium Is The Message
Prior to finishing the missing biography, and only understanding his theories through the Canadian rumour mill, I knew his famous phrase meant the opposite. The effect a medium has on a society as a whole is far more significant than the content itself. The fact that TVs were in every house in the 50s caused such epic societal shifts. The content of the shows: much less important.
Update: after re-reading this I want to correct myself for saying that the content doesn’t matter. It still isn’t as impactful as the paradigm shifts of new technology, most content we create is just a reflection of the world or our views, but… who decides which views get represented? That’s where the impact of content becomes very important. TV in the 50s was pretty racist. Social algorithms today choose content that promotes narratives of division too.
Creating our world
The irony didn’t escape me as I made this image of my weekly quote for instagram on the heels of reading about how much MM loathed new technology, typograph and iconoclasticism.
What has helped you to navigate and analyse the vortex of this rapidly changing world, while trying to understand your place in it?
Humour has helped, and continues to help me survive. Plus creative role models with strong critical thinking and communication skills, who understand the power of collaboration. Actually, as accurate as that is, it’s just the 4c of 21st century learning. But rather than just teach those skills, we need to start role modelling them in our communities.
I can’t help thinking, that with the speed at which things are changing, the children will be the ones creating their own world before we have a chance to have much of a say in anything.