Recently I read a blog post by Tony Chu titled Better Dreams. Tony is a designer and currently working on his MFA in Interaction Design at SVA. He quoted Seth Godin’s Stop Stealing Dreams manifesto which I was familiar with. Tony’s writing is insightful, you should read it. After reading, it inspired me to pose some questions regarding the Stop Stealing Dreams manifesto as well as Tony’s thoughts. What if our dreams are a product of our environment. Or worse yet, what if we don’t have time to dream?
The most popular devices we use today are our mobile phones. They allow us to access the most popular services we use such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. All three of these services revolve around the fact they broadcast. I broadcast short quips to Twitter, things I like to Facebook and Pinterest, and changes of my life to Facebook. Having everyone doing this creates a lot of noise. Amongst the noise we follow certain individuals or sectors that we admire and now have a constant window into their life. I can very easily live vicariously through their Twitter feed, Foursquare check-ins, and Tumblr posts.
The ability to easily live vicariously through someone else’s experiences or life previously was not as accessible. You would perhaps meet someone you admire at a conference and trade phone-calls or e-mails occasionally. To live through their success you would create your own success, you would aspire. Your dream became I want to be like them.
Now, with their broadcast available it’s much easier to play pretend without actually aspiring. Why bother becoming someone when you can make yourself feel like someone without any of the hard work? Perhaps this is why Seth Godin found out in his manifesto that the dreams of our high school students are to become personal assistants for famous people.
A disturbingly high number choose “the personal assistant to a very famous singer or movie star.”
By creating such a high level of transparency and efficient method of broadcasting I wonder if we’ve endangered our dreams and aspirations. Perhaps impersonating is all we want now.