The more you talk with people about the “next shiny new thing,” the more you see camps of thought evolve around it. Each camp is rapt with a unique syndrome.
One Thing Syndrome
Let’s be honest, it’s annoying when a wave of hype hits around the next shiny new thing. It’s deemed to be a “killer” of the last technology everyone had tattooed on their laptops and distracts everyone from Arrington to ZDNet.
Instead of distilling this hype and figuring out what the new technology means to them, some people learn the “one thing” about it with which they disagree. It’s one negative element that allows them to pigeonhole the entire topic, concept, technology website or even a political figure for that matter.
“Twitter asks ‘what are you doing’ and WHY would I care about what Joe had for lunch?”
And if Twitter comes up in conversation? You can see them tune out as they wait to tell you their one thing, regardless of how relevant it is, like Pavlov's pooch.
The cure for this is trying the technology out for yourself and forming your own opinion. I’m proof of this as I used to have a slight case of One Thing Syndrome. It manifested itself in this cartoon.
At the other extreme, we have the Everything Syndrome where folks act quite the opposite of those with One Thing Syndrome.
“Twitter has changed my life and it’s changing communication as we know it. A friend of my brother’s heard Twitter healed a boy with smallpox. It cures more disease than Robitussin. It’s cleaning my oven right now.”
Everything Syndrome hits people that are more than just passionate about the next shiny new thing. In fact they’re blind with appreciation for the new topic, concept, technology website or political figure. This translates into effusive praise which gives the next shiny new thing more Google juice than any technology is worthy of receiving.
The cure for this is a mantra reminding yourself that every next shiny new thing is just one piece of a much larger puzzle. Focus on the larger puzzle before you tattoo “next shiny new” on your forearm.
To be honest, the above syndromes are completely understandable. But the truth is somewhere in the middle. So when the next shiny new technology comes up in conversation, consider if the person you’re talking to has one of these syndromes or if they have been cured with a healthy dose of pragmatism.