Past, Present and Future of the Third Media Revolution

Subcultures Mostly Blend Back into Culture

November 24th, 2010

Apparently, it’s time to worry but don’t you hurry, since everywhere around the distraction-attention debate flourishes, and will continue to do so for a long time to come. In our Web 2.0 world sacrosanct serendipity, or focused distraction, has become a new normal. The problem: this, horrendously, seems finally and definitively to destroy traditional focused attention. Oops!

Luckily and logically this cannot hold true since sincere serendipity only appears in contrast to sharply focused attention. At the same time these days, focused distraction is drowning in a whirlpool of both unfocused attention and distraction. Are culture, society and the economy irreversibly being dragged down? What on earth is going on and how devastating is it?


The answer is pretty straightforward. Essentially new subcultural personas are developing as media, technology and commerce are transforming life. New lifestyles arise, for a start around communication and content platform niches like facebook, twitter, myspace, Wikipedia, deviantART, YouTube and Google.

From a conservative stance, traditional (non-digital that is) focused attention nowadays is being sped up and enriched by focused distraction, or true serendipity. This is embodied by the seriously looking Google persona to the right of the picture. Obviously this guy disapproves as all the others indulge in distractive F.U.N. or Focused & Unfocused Nonsense.

Now, as these personas develop and go mainstream, just like all subcultures they will help freshen culture and foster societal as wel as economic progress. Meanwhile, excessive and autistic abuse of distinctive characteristics is perfectly normal of any emerging subculture.

So worriers, please cool down and don’t hurry to eschatological conclusions. Focused attention is mankind’s lifeblood, together with its twin called serendipity.

 Author: @jaapbloem

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