As a music educator, I see every day how kids, tweens, teens and adults are navigating modern technology and communication. How they look for new sheet music online. How they track their music homework. How they handle communicating with their fellow band members, and with me as their director.
And the trends both annoy and alarm me.
Every other ad I see on the internet or TV is about how quick, breezy and easy it will be to:
….pay your babysitter, buy stock, track your bank account, sign up for new car insurance…
–all using (primarily) apps on your phone.
I understand if technology promises us greater efficiency, greater organization, more lucrative profits, more free time. It should. But instead of these things, I see advertising appealing to Ease with a capital E. “I want it to be easy.” And I suppose that’s OK as far as it goes, but there’s a big difference between hoping for ease, or enjoying it, and EXPECTING IT.
What I see with young people in particular is a basic intolerance for anything that isn’t immediately easy. I guess you could call it low attention span, and that’s definitely a component, but I think it’s more than that. Somewhere within the workings of our cultural mind, it’s becoming a statement that we are “Entitled to Have Things Be Easy”…and if they are not, we give up, can’t be bothered, and perhaps ultimately are functionally incapable of doing something that is just a little bit hard. I’ll pull an example to prove my point: I regularly post edited songs for my young band members on a website. All they have to do is Google “Rock Academy Portal” and they’ll find the site. I refer to the Rock Band portal in conversation and in lessons CONSTANTLY. So what’s the problem? One parent told me they don’t do it because “they can’t just ask Alexa.”
Obviously this cultural trend is capable of doing all of us a great disservice…a crippling disservice. But why am I writing about it in this portion of my Blog?
Because what we expect when we tackle the task of organizing or improving any area of our life is an important consideration. If we consciously, or subconsciously, expect a certain degree of difficulty or ease, it’s going to affect what we are willing to do or not do and how long we’ll hang in there making changes or implementing new solutions.
In this “series” in my Blog I am going to examine examples of, and pitfalls of, the modern expectation of Easiness… and muse on ways to counteract its dangers.
But let’s just agree going forwards that the goal of getting stuff done is to make life:
- more organized
- more efficient in the long run
…but in the short term this may not always be easy.
Next I’ll analyze how expectation of ease can lead to backwards laziness….doing things in ways that may seem easy on the front end but actually end up slow and difficult.