Masthead (39k image)
Home » Archives » September 2010 » It's a Sad Time [Previous entry: "Obnoxious College Students (and other entitled jerks)"] [Next entry: "Hello new job?"] 09/24/2010: "It's a Sad Time" feeling: I'm ok - just ok

So, I just finished reading Jon's most recent entry about college students and while I haven't read the referenced article yet, I plan on doing so later this morning, it is sadly just like a conversation we were having at work last night. Some people expect everyone else to hand life to them - is this a generational thing? I don't think that it is but I think that it has gotten worse with the most recent generations. I think that people haven't had to fight for things they way that they used to. I mean our parents talk all the time about having to choose the 1 thing that they really wanted because they could only have 1 - not two or three.

Just watch tv - why does anyone under the age of 16 need a cell phone? Or anyone who isn't in high school for that matter? When did it become okay for a sweet 16 party to be the size of a wedding? And when did it go from shameful to cool to be a pregnant teen? This is the world that we live in and it is a "microwave" society - nobody wants to take them time and enjoy the experience of cooking a wholesome fulfilling meal we all just want to be able to have instant gratification and if we can pawn the work off on someone else well even better!

On college (design) students in general: Speaking as an architectural graduate: I cannot fathom asking someone else to complete my work for me. I know that there were people in my graduating class who would allow other people to finish their work but really? Take some freaking pride in yourself! You choose to go into a profession that asks you to give it everything, your heart, your soul and most importantly your time. And guess what - if you can't take college, when all they want from you is to think outside of the box and unconventionally then you will never survive the real world where you will need to understand the conventional and why your ideas are so much better. You have to demand respect without being egotistical (at least until you become a household name and you can demand anything and everything). But guess what people there is no such thing as an overnight success - people that make success happen quickly have put in a ridiculous amount of time where they had no life, no love, and their health has gone to hell in a hand basket!

We should all strive for balance, so that our life, our loves - family and work, and our health aren't ripping apart each other but rather work together and at the end of the day we enjoy making the meal as much as eating it.

NB - No therapy today so I'm taking it on you people!

Replies: 2 Comments

On Monday, September 27th, Jon said

Nicole, I think you're actually touching on a lot of different themes here, and they all seem, to me at least, to come back to a central problem with society that I can't help but think about every few days:

People are entitled because everything is too easy, too cheap, and too plentiful. There is no such thing as scarcity anymore and it has fundamentally broken our motivational systems.

Perhaps that's the real point of my initial observation: The only thing that is experiencing genuine scarcity anymore is our time and attention. It's the only finite resource we have, which also makes it the most valuable. No one seems to understand this, save for the people in this world who are trying to do something with their time.

Advertisers have known this since the beginning of the profession. They sell the only thing of any permanent value: People's time and attention. All the other stuff will get cheaper, get replaced by the next big thing, and ultimately depreciated altogether, but people's time and attention holds its value.

The challenge for them now is that for 50 years they've been selling it on a handful of mediums, and now there is an infinite number of mediums to wrangle.

It's interesting to me how food works out in this equation, because I think cooking was one of the first casualties of the time and attention war. Prepackaged food told housewives that they could spend their Time and Attention elsewhere and still get a good dinner on the table for their family. Fast food took it further. What they really did was convince people that their family's health and nutrition was less important than whatever else it was they were turning their attention toward.

Now something like 70% of Americans are overweight.

So, a student who thinks they can hire someone to do their work is essentially convinced that whatever it is they'll do instead of spending time on their work is more important. (Going out drinking? Watching TV? Playing video games?) This college student who wrote Mr. Jobs is essentially saying, "My time is more valuable than yours." Which, as I'm sure we can all figure out, is absolutely false.

I'll stop there. I could spend all damn day on this.

On Monday, September 27th, Jon said

Oh, and yes, I turned comments on just so I could comment on your post. I can do that. Nanny-nanny-boo-boo. ;-)