"Google Trends provides insights into broad search patterns."
|This might make sense later....|
The top Google search today is the NFL draft. It shouldn't surprise anyone, but it surprises me because I almost always expect to see something substantive on the trends page. When Op-eds, Facebook timelines, Twitter feeds, Pinterest and Tumblr pages are FULL of vitriol and "re-post this if you hate....," I wonder why the majority of searches are on the NFL draft.
I'm feeling a little down about how our national consciousness works. It's disheartening to me how flippantly the Collective We bounces around the problems of the day, hour or minute.
I got no beef with the NFL draft (Idiom! For my non-native readers, this means I'm not angry or upset about the NFL draft happening or existing). And that's a fact. I adore football. I live for the pre-season and I wish they'd televise games from August through March. I say add as many games as a player's body can handle! I've seen how they behave in the off-season, and I feel confident in asserting that most players aren't treating their bodies as paragons of pig-skin virtue. All this being said, I can't believe that the majority of Googlers today are solely interested in football.
Where's the hysterical economic frenzy? I mean, last I heard we still have Obamacare and that means we're all going to perish under the iron fist of socialism. No one is working tirelessly on that today? What about the church and birth control? Is that all finished? And remember (you might not because it's ANCIENT HISTORY) the earthquake in Haiti??
That was in 2010...so really, it practically doesn't even count anymore, and do you want to know how I know it doesn't count anymore to the Collective We? Because Punky Brewster is Haiti's biggest spokesperson. Punky Brewster. That's who I had to find to get info on what it's like now in Haiti. And just to share the knowledge, two years after the quake, according to the Ms. Moon Frye "there are still collapsed buildings and so much rubble everywhere. Hundreds of thousands of people are living in tent cities, literally living under tarps."
Now, let me add my disclaimer: I know that there are people all over the planet and everywhere in my country working tirelessly everyday for causes. I know there are people giving time, money, effort, energy and talent to pursuits of human decency. If there weren't, I don't think I could have possibly lasted this long...like, as an "alive" person. And I don't think we should always ever only be dedicated to noble, philanthropic, depressing or global concerns. You get that, right?
It's just that the Collective We is so myopic.
We have a long-view of about fourteen minutes, or 3 feet, or one quarter cup. En masse, we can handle any one given topic for about 6 soundbites and then we're done; off to the next shiny toy. The ADHD really wears me down sometimes, because I'd like to hunker in once or twice and stick with something. I'd like to see something through to its natural conclusion even if that takes a few weeks...or a few months. And holy crap! I'd like to see something through YEARS down the line. I have pet projects of my own that I am seeing through to completion.
And frankly, they're none of your business. We're not here to discuss the nuance of my life, or yours. A change in thought process is what's needed. My man, the Dalai Lama, knows it. Balance is what's needed. We don't need to fling ourselves headlong into a frenzy of advocacy towards one mission and then whip our heads around and fling ourselves into a frenzy of entertainment check-out. It's a perfect recipe for fatigue. We need the middle way, where we seek the balance of noble pursuit with proper amounts of recess.
The NFL is an important part of our society and culture. It employs vast numbers of people who need it to support their families, provide healthcare coverage, retirement benefits, college educations and yes, entertainment. It's not a whimsical thing at its heart. But I want to challenge the world at large to see more than one issue at a time, and to remember to seek the balance. I know it's possible because even the Dalai Lama likes football...I saw it on the internet.
(And to prove I can find balance and give it to you...here's a funny picture of a different llama.)