Seems like the age old struggle for man: Man has job, new man comes and does job too. “They’re stealing our jobs!”, we say. But let’s get over ourselves, people. The job you work at is not a job that you own.
No more does the job own you. They are just things we do.
First of all, no one is coming to steal our jobs. In fact, that person likely has no idea we exist. That sounds harsh, but we don’t know they exist either so I think that makes us all square. What is really happening is that the jobs we currently are at are being given away, not taken.
The only time jobs are given away is when an employer can have them done cheaper and/or more efficiently by another means, ethically or not.
The latest fear driven campaign circulating is that robots are going to take our jobs. You’ve heard about drones delivering pizza, right? (how was it that Dominos beat Flying Wedge to the punch on that one…?) But guess what, robots aren’t self-aware, they do what we tell them. Robots will not take a single job we do not give them.
It’s true, they are more efficient and reliable than we are. The upfront cost is paid once and the maintenance fees are way below the average salary. They rarely call in sick and can work without sleeping 24 hours a day if needed.
There is one thing they can’t do: be human. We empathize, dream, and create. We spin wild tales like Star Wars, paint masterpieces like Starry Night, and write funny quips under adorable cat photos. The jobs robots can’t do are the ones that connect us to other humans.
Robots can’t do human jobs—just robot jobs.
For instance, as I’ve been writing blogs my biggest struggle is not in the topic or the actual writing. The hardest thing for me to do is write the title of post. I have about five to seven words to grab your attention. How can I possibly sum up the entire post plus make it sensationalistic enough that you are intrigued to take a read?
Well, first I start looking for blogs covering a similar topic. Then I look at blogs titled “How to Write Catchy Headlines and Blog Titles Your Readers Can't Resist”. Finally what comes up time and time again are blog title generators.
As I gave a few of them a try, I realized, “These have nothing to do with my topic”. Sure, they sound somewhat attractive but are actually pretty formulaic once you start going through them. Most of them start with “How to…” or “12 ways to…” or “The secret truth behind…”
I’m convinced that one day this is all we will see on the internet unless we stop being lazy—unless we stop giving this job to robots.
Creativity is hard! I’ve had very distinct moments when I couldn’t help but think I was wasting eons of time with nothing to show for it. But it is when we are creative that we bring value to the World and to each other: we pull from the ether the sinew that connects us.
Existential enough for you?
When you choose a template you are giving up the biggest advantage we have over machines and programs.
Templates, beit a WordPress theme, clip art for a logo, blog title generator, or your name typed in a font off the shelf, are generic and plain. They don’t function for the purpose you are intending in the slightest.
Likewise, remember the food synthesizer from Star Trek? You know, the one that you tell it what meal you want and poof, there in front of you is the dish ready to eat. The chef is taken out of the equation completely and just like that so is every unexpected culinary discovery.
Don’t get me wrong, templates are great resources when used creatively. Create new recipes from time honoured traditions. Make a WordPress website your own by using your own colours and images. Use blog title generators only as inspiration for new ideas. Manipulate typefaces to create word marks that are signatures.
When connecting to your brand promise doesn’t happen, it’s as though you went to Home Depot and picked up a new toilet. You brought that toilet home and simply plopped it on the floor of your bathroom. It looks great. It matches the wallpaper and the faucet.
Only, it doesn’t flush because it isn’t connected to the plumbing.
It is only through creativity can we tie a template with our existing brand. When we don’t it’s just like pulling a toilet off the shelf and dropping it on your floor—it doesn’t do sh*t.
Too graphic? How do you know that asterisk doesn’t replace a “U”?
Still not convinced? What have you liked on your Instagram feed lately? Was it a microwave dinner or a frozen pizza?
If you’re anything like us, it’s artisanal baked goods, crazy new ice cream flavours, and colourful smoothies, not the standard mass produced products.
We celebrate human creativity every day and have a pretty keen sense for it. Templates with no customization send out some pretty distinct vibes.
If sci-fi films and doomsday sayers are correct, we’re in for some dark days ahead. I’ve seen Terminator 2 enough times to fear the Skynet and robot revolution. But actually, I think we are in for the exact opposite.
When robots start doing all the repetitive jobs like cleaning toilets and driving (I’ll miss driving), the only thing left will be creativity.
Imagine a World where we all had to rely on our creativity and abilities to connect to one another. What if this was the only way we could pay our rent or put food on the table?
Ideas will be the most accepted currency. And good news, we all have ideas.
But listen, why wait until the robot revolution? You’ve got ideas right now and humans to connect to.