I have had the pleasure to be a part of several conversations that have focused on definitions. Definitions of words, phrases, ideas, and anything that takes space in our reality. I believe that our society grows when we force ourselves to define new things, and challenge the definitions of old.
Before we dive in, let’s set the foundation:
1a. to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning of
1b. to discover and set forth the meaning of
Those two actions outlined above (from Webster’s Dictionary) happen in our everyday lives. Whether we are “defining” a relationship with another human being, to figuring out the color of a certain shirt, we are constantly creating parameters in our environment.
Why? Because we need those parameters- those definitions we create- to understand.
Society (as we define it) is changing quickly, and the marketing industry is trying to be one step faster. As professional communicators and as citizens, we all are scrambling to apply current definitions to the new trends that are appearing before our eyes and fingertips.
We need to do better.
In previous posts, I have rambled on about bringing creativity back, encouraging playtime, and the like. Now I am challenging all of us to trash many of the definitions we know, and create new ones that fit our 2010 lives, whatever that may mean.
I realize that there are quite a few “thought leaders” who took a shot of doing the job for us, but we can’t let people think for us. That is not good for you. That is not good for me. And quite frankly, it is not good for them. A definition, to me, is like theory. It must be challenged, again and again, from all angles, until it can be accepted.
1. What exactly do we mean by two-way communications? Is that enough?
2. Does being politically correct mean we cannot offend anyone?
4. Are there really experts anymore? (see Open4 Definition)
5. We are not a free enterprise system. Or are we?
6. What Generally Accepted Ideas in our society are wrong?
Just to start the mind thinking. Maybe those are good questions, maybe not. My overall qualm with our current state of interaction this that we have become too complacent with giving the soapbox to someone, and then not question a single thing that flows from their lips. The term “due diligence” is almost as archaic as good Nickelodeon cartoons (Rugrats, Are You Afraid of the Dark- my heart lies with you).
Definitions are the foundation of the consideration sets we create to form our perception of our environment (consumer behaviorists and psychologists eat your heart out).
The better, newer definitions we create, the better our human community becomes.