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Thursday, 9 June 2011

Snow White vs the Wicked Witch of the World

Life, life what’s you make it - so said one of the best named bands of all time (so good, they named it twice).  And it is a great sentiment - one that can certainly hold true.  For those of us who are uber motivated, who strive towards agreed goals, who map out our lives with lists of must do’s, and who have plans for the next week/year/five years - then life truly is what you make it (though life will do it’s best to put hurdles in your way).
If you have read the ‘great to read’ “Bounce”, you will be aware of Matthew Syed’s thoughts as to how genius comes from loads of really hard work (presented in an oversimplified way).  Sadly, for the vast majority of today’s society (let’s label the collective group as one individual - for example “Snow White” - kind/naive/sweet - certainly at its core) - life is not what they make it.   Read on........

Culture has always played a huge part in shaping society - as has technology.  The phenomenon of the past few years that is technology and culture joining forces in the shape of the Social Media Gods (Facebook / Twitter etc - but again let’s add a random label “The Wicked Witch of the World”) - has seen culture and technology exert a greater hold over many people’s lives.
It’s all part of the super quick way that we live, the erosion on those kind/naive/sweet core values of respect and decency that Snow White has in abundance, the celebrity driven values that are now so sought after and that simply add fuel to the already out of control fire.
Social Media is merely an extension of the Media that has gone before (albeit we will need some pretty lax definitions of media and social) - and (to return back to Talk Talk’s lyrics) life IS what YOU make it - so we do have control (as we always have over the media).  
But the Wicked Witch’s hold is culturally very strong at this time - with our lives played out online and in full public view (depending on your settings).  The recent Ryan Giggs and Andrew Weiner cases (on opposite sides of the Atlantic) show this power perfectly (as well as neatly highlighting the point about celebrity society - is there anyone who is actually ‘really’ interested).
Snow White now lurches through life driven by ‘sponsored trends’, ‘likes’ and friends/followers.  Actual opinion / real human thought seems to be lacking at this time - and even the opinions that Snow White (collectively) gives on her FB/Twitter site are instantly forgettable (because a new trend is right around the corner).  
Of course, there are those that lead, that inspire who have taken on these times and made them their own.  Lady Gaga dominates this Brave New World - and is a glowing example of how to succeed (and is believed to have a huge talent behind all the show aswell).  But for every Lady Gaga, there are plenty at the top of the tree who have found a way to manage today’s world to their own benefit (see the film “Inside Job” for a true horror show).
As leaders in sports - we have the ability to influence the Wicked Witch (i.e. Culture) and ultimately lead Snow White back to kindness (i.e. make the world a better place).  Sport is (and has become increasingly more) culturally important - so for the sake of a Fairy Tale ending for all - let’s become Price Charming and make sure we do our bit.
NOTE - this fable was inspired by the 7 Dwarves of Margie Clayman and as some of you may have spotted - I am doing my best work, working with the “Witch”


Real Life Mad Man said...

This is really an amazing post, Nic. Sorry it took me awhile to get over here.

I've been just recently lamenting the "wicked witch of the world" factor myself. It seems like a lot of people are veering towards using technology for ill. If you switch to the Ring of Power metaphor, it works frighteningly well.

I am so honored this post came from our little exchange over on Mark Schaefer's blog. This is the good, the best, part of the wicked witch :)

Nic Cartwright said...

Heh Margie - thanks very much - the power to be positive about something (or someone) is certainly in the Prince (ss) Charming category!!

As Marvel builds its way towards the Avengers next summer - I think we should set up our own Social Media Avengers team to bring trust/love and respect to the world..... I claim 'Thor'....