Happy Fourth of July! By just about anyone’s standards, 2020 has been, in the Coach Hays Dictionary of Colorful Terminology, a shit storm. Coronavirus, politics, racial tensions, police brutality, immigration, cancel culture, etc. The list just keeps growing. You in the mood for a fight? Mention any of the above topics in certain crowds and watch the verbal tirades begin. Better yet, post on social media about the topics and let the feed explode.
We, as Americans, have never been more at odds, more unhappy, angrier, and/or more anxious than we are in 2020. Why?
I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t know all the reasons and details. I only know that each and every one of those things that cause America 2020 to turn on itself and attempt to destroy itself from the inside out can be solved. Our problems are not, in any way, shape, or form, beyond the capabilities of our American Spirit. What we need is a way to focus and come together to solve problems instead of creating problems.
We need a crash course in team building. We need leadership. We need to build a better Team America 2020. We also need the most vital thing for the nation’s health; the necessity to get a handle on our data.
I hear you out there either saying or thinking “WTF, Hays? Data is our problem? Really?” A few of you might even be throwing your electronic device at the 8” x 10” glossy printout of my Coach Hays Gameface avatar displayed on your office or living room wall.
We’re drowning in it.
The Information Age is everywhere. In our digital world, we are confronted with information and data 24/7. We are analog people trying to make sense of a digital world. We of a certain age were educated and raised in an analog system. Through our media and trusted news sources who were trained to analyze the available data and break it down into a concise report that was easily digestible by the public. The media in the digital world is focused more on commentary than reporting. Talking heads have replaced reporters for the most part. Instead of vetting and analyzing the data, they are reacting and commenting.
With this data and information pouring in from all sides each and every minute of every day, it becomes overwhelming. We’ve convinced ourselves we don’t have time to sit and read in our modern life. We’ve quit trying to make sense of the information and, in defeat, only listen to the easiest (and usually the LOUDEST) voice.
Imagine going to the kitchen tap to pour yourself a nice cold glass of water. You fill the glass, take a drink, and then set the glass down on the counter. That’s analog. Now imagine going to the sink, turning the tap on, and the water gushes out from a giant firehose that doesn’t stop. Soon you are treading water in your own kitchen and will be until you figure out how to get that rush of water under control.
This is the onslaught of information we face as the current generations of people raised on analog trying to make sense in a digital world. We are treading water and as we do we are getting frustrated and impatient. Our analog brains are searching for a world that makes sense. Instead of learning to think and act and function within the digital framework, we fight against a tide we cannot resist.
Wonder why schools are trying to change the way they teach young minds? It’s because, in the digital age, today’s kids must learn to navigate information in order to thrive. For the analog generations, school and training were all about learning and knowing the sets of data that were vetted, deemed important, and taught to us. We learned to trust in the story that we were told, whether it was the complete story or not.
In the digital age, the mountains of information are out there and wide open. Take a minute and think of all the data you carry around in your pocket every day inside your phone. You have more information on your smartphone than mankind had in total a short one thousand years ago. The digital generation must learn how to analyze the data, draw conclusions, and make decisions. We need to develop young minds with the skills to analyze all the stories and decide what the complete story is. We need these young minds to lead us out of the potential shit storms so we can better handle and adapt to a changing world.
We need Team America to up its game. Stay focused and avoid targeted distraction. Stay calm when frustration strikes. Make better decisions instead of snap decisions. We need to teach ourselves to work together despite our differences. Different is just different.
Information can be our friend if we don’t allow it to flood our lives.
I firmly believe the best days of The United States of America are out there waiting for us.
We just need Team America to figure out a way everyone gets there.
Happy Fourth of July!