I have obviously been circling this particular drain for a long time, and I know I am not alone, but I am utterly convinced that the work I do means absolutely nothing.
As you all know, I work in the web industry. This industry is unique among industries, being populated by a motley collection of stereotypes; self-aggrandized graphic designers in ultra-hip eyewear, troll-like programmers happily sequestered in a dark room somewhere with an endless supply of diet cola, sycophantic project managers and sales reps, and every non-stereotype in between.
It is a varied tapestry of collaboration, and it should be really interesting to work with all these personalities. Nonetheless, I look back over my twelve year career in the field and find that I have done absolutely nothing that actually means anything at all.
It does not make the world a better place. It does not change anyone’s life for the better. It does not reflect my personal belief structure. It most certainly does not fulfill me or give me any sense of creative pride. What it does do is generate revenue for my employer and my employer’s client.
That, by itself, may be a good enough reason to continue on doing what I am doing, but I become less and less convinced all the time.
Perhaps it’s burnout, coupled with the general malaise that accompanies winter making me feel a bit blah about the web. Or maybe it’s my Gen-X sense of entitlement, or some sort of post-Boomer idea that we are all somehow special (indeed unique, just like everyone else), but I like to think that there is a way to do things I consider ‘good’ and still make a living at it.