Just the other day, I was talking to a friend about a mild inconvenience that was just about obliterating me. I’m using the word “obliterate” here to illustrate the fact that that’s essentially what it was doing to me—disrupting my life in such a way that I was allowing myself to be completely undone by it.
When and where did I get so damn entitled?
In a world where we’re afforded so much, the smallest of inconveniences can seem an impossible chore. We’re so used to everything being calculated, curated, and automated that when it’s not, the sky may as well be falling.
We’re not short on essays about the state of the Design culture. It seems everyone’s got an opinion about whether or not we’re too loud, too sensitive, and just plain too mean for our own good. I know I, myself, have fallen into the trap of groupthink, and fired shots on what’s easiest. Whether it’s a logo I’m not hip to, a redesign I can’t stomach, or a line that’s not deserving of my time, getting riled up is easy. If you’re looking to be pissed, this is the Information Age: There’s no shortage of content out there to sink your teeth into.
With social media, we’re a living timeline of our thoughts etched in text and broadcasted for the world to see. It’s been incredibly telling those few times I’ve combed through my Twitter feed and weighed complaints vs. praise (or just non-complaints, even). It does wonders for detecting those times I go full curmudgeon and allow the more grating interactions to dictate my behaviors. There’s a lot of good in this world and sometimes you’re going to have to be intentional about looking for those things—because friction often demands a reaction, but deliverables we’ve come to expect can feel as if we’re entitled to them.
Most of us are building products for humans, so let’s try and make them the best products we can and minimize friction points. But for the times we miss the mark, let’s hope that we find that same grace on the other end of the experience. And that we act with expedience to correct and refine those interactions.
I’m grateful for those friends, like Olivier Lacan, who encourage me to reach out to a company before blasting them on Twitter for what they’ve done wrong, because you could be surprised at their willingness to help.
Here’s to taking more time out of my day to celebrate those things that are worth celebrating. And maybe occasionally shutting the hell up about those things that aren’t worthy of it.