Go with the flow? Or swim upstream?
It’s our job to be creative for a living. It’s our job to solve problems, come up with new ideas and solutions to communicate messages that will make people see something in a new way. It’s our job to create and shape and change culture. There’s an inherent problem with this (which is great, because like I said, we’re problem solvers).
The problem is that there are two directions to go when we’re shaping culture. One way is to create something that adapts and reflects culture. Go with the flow and trends, get on board with society thinks and behaves. The other way is to go against the grain. To recognize problems with current trends and movements and create work that wakes people up to a truth or reality that shifts culture in a new way.
I’ve been thinking a lot about technology lately, specifically our phones. They’ve become this slot machine of random rewards in our pocket preventing us from having one second of non-stimulation and monotasking. They’re potentially a dangerous tool as a way that shapes culture into a world where people need constant engagement with technology, constant access, and a desperation for indirect contact with people that are busy doing other things with real people in real life. So when you’re creating an idea for an app, for an advertisement, for anything where you’re suggesting “This is how I want people to use their device and how technology should be used” you’re making a statement. You’re answering very important question, and it’s something we should be thinking about every day.
Do I like where the world is headed and want to continue to drive way people believe and behave? Or do I want to create a different world and change the way people think and act?
Will you go with the flow and use trend momentum to push the world further in the direction its headed? Or will you swim upstream and change the course of our cultural movements?
You’re in control and stronger than you think.