The Lost Art of Subtly

img541I’ve been feeling bombarded lately. Not so much since we’ve stopped paying for cable, but I’m on the internet all day, every day so I can’t help but see tons of information I could probably live without. Then of course there’s my chosen career of marketing.

It makes it impossible to ignore pretty much any marketing campaign.

What’s interesting is that it’s not the loudest, the most colorful, the most jarring things that get my attention these days. It seems to be the ads, posts, tweets that subtly tell me what I need to know. They don’t have flashing GIFs or memes or any of that.

The writer/designer writes engaging content and adds a tasteful graphic or photo to illustrate the point they are trying to convey. It’s calming. It allows me to take a minute to breathe. It’s also the information that also sticks with me the longest and the person I remember the next time I’m going through my news feed.

I appreciate little moments of time where it doesn’t feel like my brain is going to explode. It’s why I like to write. Writing forces my mind to slow down and focus on one thing.

So in our world of constant stimulation and input wouldn’t it be nice if we could find information in a more calming, subtle way? Like tiny oases in a stream of bull shit where we could stop, even if just for a few seconds, to actually think and decide for ourselves if the information is worth retaining.

I can feel the stress and tension melting away already. Can’t you?

I suppose it’s my responsibility to just not look at all the jarring, fake information that’s readily available. But now it seems like that’s all I have to choose from. And who has the time to wade through all the bull shit to get to the one nugget of truth or good design? Especially when it’s the crap that most people insist on sharing.

I’ll give you an example…

Why, for the love of God why, do people post videos of someone saving an animal and then comment ‘My faith in humanity is restored’? Who wouldn’t save a stranded animal – a cute cuddly ball of fur who never hurt anyone?

How about we find someone who actually gives a shit about another human being? And not just for the photo-op or social media cred. How about all those people who go out of their way to actually stick up for someone in trouble, but need no video or glory?

Those people restore my faith in humanity because they see a need and they fill it without any concern for themselves. They don’t do it for what they can get out of it. They are subtle.

There are so many things I want to be. Kind. Forgiving. Nice. The list is so long and it just got longer.

Now I want to be subtle. Who’s with me?



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