Feel Good Inc.

Yeah, this post is inspired by the song Feel Good Inc. My mind tends to work like that. When I hear one thing, thoughts branch out to some tech. or other ‘related’ tangent.

Feel Good Inc. caused that light bubble to go off- what a perfect way to describe how we, millennials, consume information and use technology.

New gadget? Instant gratification. Scrolling through news or funny funnies that are pushed out day in day out for a hit by hit buzz? We all search for that insta feel good and insta info. consumption in a quick bit of media during any down time.

To suit the scroll life/phone life, media companies have even trimmed content to be the 1.5 minutes or so of the average attention span of the millennial, my generation. I used to work for a sports media and production company and witnessed this first hand. One of my responsibilities each week was to manage the spending across all social media accounts. At the end of every month, I summarized the spending and audience reach in a simple excel sheet. Millennials liked the shorter content pieces and went for the clickbaity titles. Note there is of course a strong push for long form content as well, but short form is the way to go day to day to engage viewers, build audience and generate revenue.

Numbers haven’t ever been my forte, but this experience was an eye opener into how we (millennials) consume information. The stats were even available across different platforms- mobile versus desktop or laptop. Will Alexa and Google Home soon be streaming too?

A lifestyle where being tech. savvy and available during all waking hours is just one of the many drives that pushes for this type of media. With so much information and consumer facilitating tech., there is a push for both specialization and knowing and understanding what seems like everything else too.

Heard of this? Uh, no… Didn’t you know that? Uh, no…

So what are we learning as we constantly try to get that insta feel good and insta quick learn? One point five minutes of this, and another one point five of that? It’s not enough to even scratch the surface of both topic and long term feel good.

What if tech. companies only come out with the best products when they are ready (no software glitch updates required every week etc.) and these products are designed to last for years. I don’t see the need to produce millions of new phones each year to have very similar and working ones tossed. Is there a danger to having a high tech. and long term happy society?

There’s a danger there for the sellers. But currently, we’re the ones in danger cause we’re buying into advertising and asking for more.

Left alone without all these little tidbits of insta feel good and insta learn a little, would some of us feel really really bad?

I sometimes wonder if the way our generation experiences happiness is different from the generations before. My mom would describe a day from her youth: growing up in South Africa, sitting on a balcony and sipping a coke for hours, as a highlight. One small thing could be enjoyed for hours, and looked forward to for many days or weeks to come for the next occasion. The joy of little pleasures like that lasted, unlike today.

Today, I witness many more ups and downs, as there are so many insta ups and insta downs. But I also wasn’t around 50 years ago. So does technology affect the way millennials experience happiness? Has anyone else noticed or thought about this? Is it possible we are going down the route of a Feel Not So Good Inc.?


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