Is It Always Good to Get What You Want?

You can personalise everything these days: music, tv programmes, films, ringtones, news stories… you need never read a word, see an image or hear a sound that you are not interested in or entertained by. But is that necessarily a good thing? To only be exposed to what you like?

I'm of the generation brought up in the UK with only three tv channels and limited radio programmes ( like Pick of the Pops and Two Way Family Favourites!). No internet. No 24 hour rolling news. What that meant was that in order to get to the 'good' bits, you had to be exposed to the stuff that you did not necessarily like.

That did two things. It made you even happier to hear your favourite song when you had waited a long time for it  - something like appreciating the sunshine more because of the rain if you know what I mean – and it exposed you to a variety of material that you would not have come across by choice. Some of that material would never be of interest (nothing could persuade me to like brass bands or Highland dancing), but some lingered and developed into a curiosity and then a genuine love.

Only giving people what they like is short sighted.  It doesn't allow for changes of taste or the possibility of persuasion, the chance spark of curiosity that could ignite a passion of interest. It is narrow and inward looking. It stifles imagination and weakens willpower.  

I guess things have gone too far now and it's a genie that can't be put back in the bottle. Personalised everything is here to stay. I just hope that sometimes people choose randomness and surprises instead of their tried and tested favourites, because it's  only then that you find out what you really like.

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