We live in a one-click society.
That’s now the size of our attention and our procurement: one click.
I see it. I want it. I click and get it.
One hundred years ago, most people traveled by horse. The car was a “new” thing. Emma Goldman was arrested (arrested!) for lecturing about birth control, and John D. Rockefeller became the world’s first billionaire. (There are 1,810 billionaires in the world now, in case you were wondering.)
And today we sit in the one-click society.
At least for some of us. If you can one-click, you’re part of a privileged bunch, no matter your income. One-clicking means you have a permanent address and a credit card of some sort. You are fortunate, even if you’re hustling like most of us.
Why is this one-click concept important?
Because if you are in business, you need to realize it. Make things require more than one click and you might lose the customer. Get in, get out. Don’t send an email to your customers saying “Available now on our website” and then have no hugely obvious button for them to click once they get to your website. Most customers won’t take the time to send you a message asking how they can give you their money.
If you’re a parent, you need to realize the effect of the one-click concept. Your kids are raised in this culture. It’s going to take more effort for you to teach them patience and resilience and the importance of the quest. Your culture is working against you in this regard. Your kids think one and done.
They need to learn that sometimes life is 300 and done. Or 300 and none. Or that life might send you 12 straight rejections and then you get your first chance. (Ask JK Rowling.) Or that sometimes it takes 15 years for your book to reach the New York Times best-seller list but then it stays there for over six years. (Ask Paulo Coelho.) Or you can not teach your children these lessons, and instead raise entitled princes and princesses and then you can wonder later why they’re messed up and selfish. Your choice. Pay now or pay later.
And if you’re in love, you need to realize the effects of the one-click society. Maybe it’s not your partner who thinks “This is hard. Maybe I should see who else is available out there” — maybe it’s you. Relationships take work, and way more than one click. (I used to think relationships were like self-cleaning ovens. I don’t think that anymore!) You might want to read someone like Brene Brown and think about what you could do better in your relationship. (One-click order “Rising Strong.” How’s that for meta?)
I love the wild efficiency of our one-click society, but I’m mindful of its effects at the same time. Life is about more than clicking. We can only buy things. Keep your eye on what really matters, and pass the good stuff on.