Outsourcing Digital Downtime

Ad agencies love to position themselves as post-modern prophets. They are the people who can read the culture and then help companies convert cultural shifts into sales and marketing opportunities. JWT Intelligence, a subgroup of J. Walter Thompson, publishes their tea-leaf interpretations every year – always reminding you what they were right about in FYLastYear and then telling you what you need to know to make a buck in FYThisYear.

Although I have nothing particular to sell, I am studying digital media and technology, so I downloaded their BFF (Big Fat File) outlining the Top 100 Things to Watch in 2011. It’s 108 pages long with lots of pretty pictures. Apparently, I have nothing better to do… A more manageable list, however, appears on their JWT Intelligence blog, where some producer who actually had nothing better to do condensed the 100 Trends document into an animated short video called 10 Trends for 2011. So much more David Letterman.

Three trends intrigued – and ultimately, bothered – me.

#4, Eat, Pray, Tech, says that we are increasingly dependent on technology in our lives, to the point that technology – and the ability to use it – is becoming as essential as food and clothing to us. #5, De-Teching, says that we are increasingly drawn to unplugging ourselves from the technology that so consumes us. To that end, we try, at least for short periods of time, to go off the grid.

The final trend, however, brings #4 and #5 together, in a rather disturbing way. The authors posit that we recognize our over-dependence on technology (#4), and that we want to unplug (#5), but we can’t seem to muster that will-power. Therefore, #10, Outsourcing Self-Control, allows us to employ technology to cut us off from technology.

If you’re having trouble knowing how to get to #10, click here Do Nothing to outsource the force.

Here is the JWT video:

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