It’s Called A Feed Because You Are Being Fed. Up That Is.
Ever wonder why when you have a spare moment, no matter where you are, whether it’s waiting in line, at a stoplight at an intersection, or at the coffee shop, you pull out your phone and check your feed. For our purposes, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Facebook feed, a Twitter feed, a Snapchat feed, or News feed that you are subscribed to.
If you looked up from your phone, you’d notice that everyone around you is doing the exact same thing.
They are all checking their feeds, looking for the fresh and new, interesting, and entertaining, pushed to them, without them having to think. The new and exciting, the interesting and entertaining, all a swipe away.
Isn’t our age truly awesome?
At the same time, you are wondering why you are having trouble coming up with new ideas, new products, or new ways increase sales and profitability, or you have a thorny problem that you are trying to come up with creative solutions for, but you can’t seem to.
Let me just grab my phone again for a quick dopamine hit, then I’ll go back to solving this.
Did you ever stop to think that maybe the reason you are having trouble thinking creatively is that it’s being sapped out of you by this always on, always interesting, always available “feed” of information, highly optimized to drive you emotionally?
We are addicted to our feeds, and this is exactly what they have been designed to do – to excite, entertain or outrage us to the point that we need increasingly. We used to be excited by being creative, by creating new ideas, but now we simply let ourselves be fed other ideas.
We allow ourselves to be lulled into this state because the feed is just so damn compelling. Imagine if there was a biologically based drug which, once taken, stayed in your system forever, constantly morphing and changing to drive an emotional response.
It would release chemical agents into your bloodstream to continually excite and outrage you, driving your emotional state. It would detect your actions and your emotions, then continually hone its chemical delivery to constantly keep you in that state.
Your feed is literally an electronic version of that – it has been designed as a constantly morphing electronic drug which watches everything you do online, then feed you more of what it thinks you need, always tingeing that with whatever flavoring will wring a more emotional response from you.
While it may not be fully here yet, there are AIs in the process which will completely rewrite pre-existing content to drive a higher emotional response.
Imagine a “true news” statement, rewritten one way to outrage a liberal, and then written another way to outrage a conservative. Both versions have just enough “fact” to seem real, but the version you get is designed to enrage (and therefore engage) you into the action of reading more of the feed.
Once you recognize that your feed is a drug, specially designed to morph into something you can never escape, it becomes easier to put away the phone. To wean yourself off the drug.
Once you start taking a break from your feed, you’ll be surprised how much more creative you will be. You’ll be able to see juxtapositions, new solutions, new ways of doing things, which you never saw before while you were stuck in your 4.7-inch world.
Leave the phone in your pocket, go for a walk around the block, take a different route, talk to people, use your amazing human powers of observation, and get those neurons making connections again.
You’ll find that in no time the creativity will begin to flow again, and you’ll notice that your excitement will come from ideas generated by your own creative thoughts, instead of what you are being “fed”.