20 Nov Tasty morsels
The other day I was rewatching the HBO series Successions. It is a show about the Roy family, the owners of Waystar Roy Co, a global media and hospitality empire.
There is a particular scene that has always stood out to me. It is a scene in which one of the sons, Roman, shares his observation on the shift in media and consumption.
“I was at the book shop the other day and I just started laughing. I started thinking about the olden days, the monasteries and the Bibles, and who said what and what they meant, and all the wars and what have you — all gone. No one gives a f#$k. People will read, but that old world is gone. Papers — gone. News — gone. Tune into NBC at night to be told what to think — no, over. It’s all about the morsels, man. Feed me the f@$&ing tasty morsels, keep me interested — that is where we are headed. Tasty morsels from groovy hubs.”~Roman Roy, Successions on HBO
It makes me stop and think about our world today.
We live in an always-on, always-connected, always ‘informed’ culture of swiping, scrolling, clicking, and sharing.
How often do we stop, pause, and take the time to read the entire article? Do we look at the sources of the article, cross-check the references versus just taking the headline and the publisher at face value.
When we write, are we writing in cohesive thoughts that are grammatically correct? Or are we writing tasty morsels that perform well in an algorithm to play a system of swipers and sliders to pay us with a few seconds more of their attention?
Perhaps when Leonard Cohen, a Canadian songwriter wrote, “the blizzard of the world” that “crossed the threshold” and “overturned the order of the soul” he was referencing our very nature as humans moving from an analog world to a digital world and that we were choosing to give away our ability to think freely for the simplicity of being served up tasty morsels that we will consume.
What I am observing in this post-literate media consumption world is that we are both the product and the consumer.
Our clicking, swiping, liking, and sharing is so easy that often I question the intent?
Was this RT done because it’s easy to see in my notifications and I want to show that I was tagged in this string? Did someone read this before sharing? Did someone scan the headline and think it seemed relevant? Does the person endorse this article or opinion?
Are others taking the time, to be in the moment, to read the article, to think about the content, and then with intention, making the decision to share it because it is something they feel is important to share with their network? Are they helping to refine a signal that delivers intent or are they simply just adding to the noise?
Lately, I have been observing that many of us are only able to see the forest. Everyone has a forest at their fingertips. As people and our society scroll on their phones, their iPad, their laptops they have the forest of their preference a swipe away. The collective consciousness of our society perceives the rustling of leaves of the digitized forest, but the reality of the individual tree is inaccessible. The analog reality is something that leaves many people frustrated as if they are unable to approach it in any meaningful fashion.
On a weekly basis, I consume over 100 articles that I read and save for my weekly email that goes out to all of you. I read each one and I hand select a subset of those articles that I think are the most impactful, noteworthy, or worth sharing with others.
I spend 4-5 hours a week just constructing an email that I send out on a Sunday.
I narrow 100’s of articles down to a list of 20 or less. Articles that have meaning to me, articles that have made me pause and contemplate, and articles that I believe provide a signal to helping us see individual trees.
As Dan Nielsen said, “We cannot force someone to hear a message they are not ready to receive. But we must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.”
The only way to produce a tasty morsel is by first planting a seed.
The seed has to be planted with intention.
Nourishment provided at the moment.
Produce picked from a tree.
Creating a tasty morsel.
To be savored at the N of 1.