"Everything has changed, nothing is permanent. Unlike the work of our ancestors who built tables and chairs to last for generations, present day objects have in-buiot obsoletism; so that it is usually cheaper to buy new goods than to have them repaired. Nothing is permanent. Technology has made life easier and, in many ways, better, but it powerfully promotes the notion that the good life is to be estimated in terms of the possessions we have." - Lesslie Newbigin; Modern, Post-Modern and Christian; 1994.
It takes a lot to think of any work I do that lasts more than five years. It takes just as much work to think of any work I do that lasts more than one year. Everything is ephemeral.
There is a lot packed into this particular quote. The entire pamphlet is worth reading and, was one of the most impactful essays I read last year. In thinking about my professional career in digital marketing, my role primarily has been to create experiences that have immense impact but last only a short while. Sure, there have been gems in which the work — or ideas, mainly — last for much longer, but they are few and far between. Most of the time, I'm strategizing and concepting a new campaign that will aide in revenue generation and community building while also filling a bit of empty space on the calendar. This way of thinking of building cheaper experiences that are easier to replace than the ones that took substantially longer to hone and craft doesn't just extend to products, but to ideas.
Our world now operates in trending events. Old now means 12 hours ago or sometimes less. Products are made to last only so long until replacement, but ideas and thoughts, especially on social media, exist only for a moment: a whisper, a quick glance, a blink, an irregularity, a thought.
When I am old and on my death bed, what will I look back on that I made or did with my own hands or mind that will still remain other than my faith, family and friends? Perhaps, those are all that matter? Afterall, from dust we came and to dust we shall return.