A hot take on hot takes
In yesterday’s Big Revolution, I shared an article
about the effect on our brains of making everything on Twitter a lightning-fast joke. Instead of taking time to understand something, we race to react and then move on.
This ‘quick judgment’ and move on attitude is everywhere now. When evidence of underpowered MacBook Pros emerged recently, people raced to give their hot take on what they believed was happening, without waiting for Apple’s explanation. Apple fixed the problem
days later via a software update, but only after people had rushed to accuse them of deliberately under-powering Macs, or having abandoned the pro market entirely via a mistake that supposedly showed they didn’t care.
Meanwhile, images purporting to show the Google Pixel 3XL smartphone appeared yesterday
. Judging by the reaction from some quarters, the fact it had a large notch was enough to doom it entirely. Never mind we haven’t seen how Google might be using that notch or what it might do with the screen space either side…
These are largely inconsequential examples maybe, but I’d argue they apply to how many people process big stories like Brexit, too. 'There was a referendum, let’s just get on with it,’ they say, while failing to engage with anything that indicates that maybe things won’t be too rosy after the UK leaves the EU. There’s just too much news these days for people to take it all in.
Being constantly bombarded with new information forces us to process it only lightly, applying and sharing a quick opinion based on our prejudices and past experiences. After all, there’ll be another news story to think about in a minute.
And if we don’t think about what’s happening around us in depth, then it’s easy to miss truly important trends happening just below the surface. And it’s frightening to think who might take advantage of that… and who already has.