In 1964 First Things First, a manifesto created to rally against the consumerist culture of buying and selling. It has since been updated twice, the latest being this year, 2014. The present state of the media industry throughout the cultures and societies around the world is troubling.
These corporations believe:
1. “How much money will we make?” instead of “How useful is our product?”
2. Employees + working absurdly long hours = more money
3. Finding the solution to getting more consumers to buy the new iPhone is solving a real problem in society
4. Monetizing consumers’ personal information is more important than keeping it secure and protected
5. “Tu wallet es mi wallet”
We’re not using our professional potential for positive impact, and instead, are using our time and energy driving demand for consumer ‘things’ that are “redundant at best, destructive at worst”.
We need to use our talents for pursuits more worthy of our dedication. Regardless of its area of focus or scale, our work and our mindset must take on a more ethical, critical approach to how we choose to live our life.
Of course there should always be room for fun as life is all about balance. We can continue to spend our time on entertainment, personal projects, experimentation, and light-hearted use of our abilities. The thing that needs to happen here is a “refocusing of priorities”. We need to stop thinking about the profit-over-people business models and placing corporations’ demands before individuals. We need to explore and produce more meaningful work that has lasting, beneficial cultural impact.
View the entire manifesto here and add your signature to commit your talents to a greater world.