Jon Stewart and the Small World
I recently picked up a copy of The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk. So far, it’s a great read containing a lot of discerning wisdom about the state of our world.
Vaynerchuk begins the book by describing how the world was once a very small place. Nearly everyone was born and raised in the same town, knowing the same folks, and frequenting the same businesses. Only a small minority of the powerful had the ability to freely move outside the confines of their birthplace.
The economic boom that followed the end of World War II greatly disrupted this centuries-old system by introducing previously-unimaginable expendable wealth and powerful new technologies (automobiles, airplanes, etc.) that spread ideas and people around the world in ways yet unknown. As this change intesified over the decades, our world became more and more isolated. Our relationships grew more and more fractured.
Many of us were born in a world where it was often difficult to intimately connect with family who had moved to different states or countries. We couldn’t pick up a cell phone and make immediate plans via text message. That’s not even to mention the near-impossibility of widepsread networking across such a geographically and relationally fractured world.
The rise of the web, specifically social media, has brought the journey full circle. Now it is possible to be intimately connected to the lives of cousins living seven states away or to the work of foreign missionaries halfway around the world. Pictures are posted, breaking news is tweeted, and personal connections are made to no end.
The barriers that seperated us over the last 50+ years are falling at a fascinating rate and being replaced by powerful bridges of communication.
No longer do cable news networks or metropolitan newspapers control what we know and how we interpret it. That power has been severly weakend as the proliferation of freely-accessible information continues to multiply.
That’s what makes the following clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart so amusing. It found its way to me via these new social channels and a Twitter-friend (@nicklaparra) who I’ve yet to meet in person. And imagine that the commercialized Internet we know today is only sixteen years old!
It illustrates the reality of our world that Vaynerchuk describes in this way:
“Middlemen, pundints, and spokespersons no longer have near-monopoly on the widespread distribution of a brand or a message.”
But this kind of change is happening all over the place. Not just among news organizations.
Now, if you’ve made it this far, you should know that I don’t plan to delve in to politics often — only as it relates to something much bigger like this. But, I will say that you should check out Ron Paul. Give him a fair shake. Some of his ideas are definitely uncomfortable, but for the most part his worldview is coherent and strong. He’s nothing if not consistent.
Alright. That’s more than enough seriousness for now. I promise something lighter tomorrow.
How is this newly-smaller world changing your relationships? Comment below, and let us know.