I’ve had a theory for quite some time. A recent discussion with Boraz via Twitter reminded me of it once again.
My Microwave Burrito Theory
I’ve used this analogy quite a bit lately. In a recent paper regarding human interaction with technology I referenced it for college. I’ve mentioned it in comments countless times on other blogs.
I’ve never really put it in to a perspective that others could follow for posterity.
The idea is that everyone wants a microwave burrito. What we want should be relatively instant. It should be fully cooked. Ready to eat. It should be filling.
This applies to almost everything. From our retirements, our salaries, dreams, blogs, and public perception. We want them all quickly, we want them to fulfill us, and we want them more or less, now.
Lets consider, if we will, how many ways it can be applies. Recent political events for instance. One party wants the solution immediately. They want the solution to be complete. They want the solution to be fulfilling.
With that as a litmus I would say my microwave burrito theory then must be applied with the following: the example must be a relatively quickly or immediate response or action. The action must fulfill the party requiring the quick action. The action must be complete in that parties viewpoint.
The changes in blogging is an excellent example. While some deride them as dead, others feel the landscape is merely changing. As a webwriter for many years this isn’t the first change I’ve seen online.
Folks migrated to blogging for a instant reaction, they formed families on line for a instant fulfillment and reaction. They shared links among each other, grouped together. Or as noted in Issac Asimov’s infamous I, Robot “Why is it that when robots are stored in an empty space, they will group together, rather than stand alone?”.
The answer is social interaction, and Facebook, like blogging, is a social network. The difference is that blogging in the long form requires more time and effort than the rapid ability of Facebook, or even Twitter.
Blogging was no different in its heydey, and with the advent of Facebook, many bloggers have rushed to its open arms for immediate responses and reactions, their blogs now quite and lifeless.
The burrito was ready for those ready to consume it in that case. Twitter offers another semblance of the burrito, instant statements, instant reactions.
But perhaps without that multitude of voices, without that symphony of people resounding in a chaotic chorus of many actions ideas, the ones remaining can be better heard, better understood, better read. A different balance if you will.
For the burrito, while quick, while filling, also often leaves the user with heartburn in the long run.