As Trendwatching.com defines it:
My Pops called this trend something different 20 years ago: “A jack of all trades, master of none.”
I subscribe to Google Reader and it has quickly become the most useful tool I have in my toolbox. However, it’s also the definition of snack culture. It keeps me up-to-date on the areas of my choosing, which generally include, trends, cars, music, and advertising, marketing, outdoors stuff, etc.
It’s quick, it’s easy, and it keeps me almost bleeding-edge up to date on all the things listed above. Honestly, Google reader is one of my favorite things to do, but I’m quickly understanding it’s the worst thing for me.
In my profession, online seems to be the new California goldmine. It's marketing's version of the ’49 gold rush. Similarly, there will be hours of mindless mining, in sometimes-terrible conditions (over-heated or over-cooled cubicles, for example) that will provide a few nuggets worth washing off, examining quickly, and then tossing into a bucket with the rest.
The problem is that the mining is the problem. It’s not research. It doesn't understand. It isn’t empathy. It’s solely uncovering, and uncovering isn’t enough.
We’re mining to a point where we realize we have gold, but we aren’t understanding the inherent value within the gold, we just toss it in the sack (or brain) without truly understanding the impact of what we've just uncovered.
The emotion, the feeling, the essence of it all is completely forgotten in our snack culture. A deep understanding of the experience is lost via reading online.
The reference to California above leads me to my point: We’re slowly becoming a culture that’s happy to surf and pick up nuggets along the way, but continue on surfing without finding the source, which is the main course in this developing snack culture. More often than not, we seem okay with skipping over the main course for a few more snacks. We never really dig in.
I have a feeling that this over snacking will lead to a mental obesity that we not be able to overcome. A mental obesity that leads us all to become "jacks of all trades," but masters of none.