On my way back to Seattle from Yakima Thursday I needed a break and pulled into Ellensburg for a timeout. As a fan of CWU (Central Washington State University) I took a little memorial drive around the campus and stopped in at the local (been there forever) Dairy Queen.
I’m sitting in the corner eating my cheeseburger fries and sipping a Pepsi thinking about the past few days in Yakima and enjoying the stream of college kids coming in for an afternoon treat.
Isn't it ironic I find myself here just now, the old guy in the room who happens to be the dude who's work is all about the evolving social media environment, but my iPhone is in my pocket. I spent the last few days talking to clients that were mostly my age and some were more than skittish about adopting social media platforms as a marketing strategy. Now I'm sitting in a burger joint just up the road a piece full of college kids who are never disconnected.
The real irony is the fact that both groups need one another to make their respective worlds go round. Yet with shields they might resist the unknown and miss a valuable connection.
It reminded me of a favorite Star Trek NG episode.
Data: "Drop the shields!"
This is the one where the Enterpise is facing a strange space anomaly coming right at them so they transfer power to the shields and brace for impact. The closer this unknown wave front gets to the ship the more energy it has. The crew finally transfers all the ships power to the protective shields, yet the anomaly becomes even more powerful.
I love this one because Data figures it out in the last few seconds and tells Captain Picard, "Lower the shields!" Which is totally counter intuitive. Picard, with only a second to make the decision, sides with Data and commands, "Make it so!" And the anomaly upon impact vaporizes, no harm done.
Data goes on to explain it's a harmonic amplification affect and cranking up the shields was causing the oncoming anomaly to counter with ever more energy.
"The more energy we put to the shields the worse the impact."
I love this metaphor... Isn't this often what happens when we resist change? The more energy we spend resisting it the harder the impact. Sometimes, though counter intuitive, it's smart to drop the shields.