Serendipity Happens

As consumers increasingly personalize their media consumption there is no shortage of hand wringing about the implications from lack of shared cultural experiences.  Particularly in news, there is concern that consumer will choose to consume content that reinforces existing opinions hardening political discord.  Beyond news, one could argue that shared love for TV shows and pop songs have also provided the bonds that make citizens feel comfortable with one another.  Where will those bonds come from when TV ratings and record sales continue to slide?

This genuinely concerns those of us who feel we are doing the lord’s work assuring consumers access to free, ad-supported content.  Yet just when despair sets in, we get reminded that, somehow, content hits still spring up and capture the imagination of mass audiences.

I was reminded of this last night when I was out with my sister in law who was talking about going to see some Brooklyn loft show for a band named Foster the People.   Turns out that both my 9 year old son and me, a suburban middle ager, both like that band as well.  Amazingly, Foster the People have only released 4 songs.  And while “Pumped up Kicks” is a catchy pop tune it’s doubtful  that my urban twenty something  sister-in-law and I share many common media habits where we would have discovered the song.  Yet some how we had both gotten exposed to this fun young band and we were able to bond over it.  Perhaps we will maintain civic harmony after all!  🙂