In much the same way some animals can sense an oncoming storm, I’ve had this nagging feeling, deep in the back of my mind. Like a subtle itch I can’t scratch. I sometimes feel this is the result of having run my course in my current career, like I’ve grown as much as I can in this arena, and that maybe its time to move on.
It’s hard to know for sure. Professionally, I’ve done nothing else but web development – for ten years now. Many of my peers have written books, had speaking engagements, or started companies of their own doing the things they’re passionate about. I’m very passionate about the work I do too, but not to the same extent as others.
It’s not an issue of success. I consider myself very successful. Without meaning to sound arrogant, I am one of the best at what I do. This in itself might be the problem, but I don’t think so.
The web has become a fairly mature medium, and what was once new and exciting has become commonplace and mundane. I am not good with the commonplace – a character flaw I readily admit. It’s not the status quo I have problems with, it’s that there’s nothing but the status quo.
This isn’t to say the web has reached a point in which no more development will occur. I highly doubt that. New and enterprising minds will bend and torture the technology just as I and my peers have done for the last ten years, but I think for us, the originals, that evolution is over.
I also feel that the web has become so overburdened with research- and marketing-driven targeted assaults on buying power, that the “average user” (a non-existant idea if ever there was one) has become as disillusioned with the ‘net as they have with television. Add the constant struggle to keep evildoers and the hordes of viruses, trojans and worms out of the systems, and the Internet becomes something that is a bother to use. I suspect for purchase research and general information gathering, the Internet will remain the medium of choice, but for anything else – including recreation, I suspect the ‘net has passed its peak. Television, at least, requires no active participation.
I could, if I were so inclined, tackle these issues, and make the Internet a better place, but I don’t think I have it in me anymore. I want to do creative things, that appeal to all levels of my mind. I want to work to live. I’m tired of living to work. I’m no Type A, and I’d rather be sailing.
Maybe we all wear ourselves down on the leading edge eventually. A friend of mine, in the same industry, tells me that the way I feel (and he feels much the same) is situational, and I am inclined to believe him. I just can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a happier medium.