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Ask Why (Instead of Making Fake Camera Sounds)

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My four-year old daughter builds a tower of blocks.  I walk by, take notice and say “wow, that’s a nice tower standing strong.  Take a picture.” She puts both hands in front of her face, points them towards the blocks and makes a ssshkt sound. 
That sound is traditionally made by a camera with mirrors that slide out of the way of the lens allowing allow light in at a precisely calculated time to expose the scene on film.  In her lifespan, my daughter has only ever seen people take pictures with smartphones.  Without these exact mechanics, smartphones do not need to make ssshkt sounds.  Instead, the speaker makes the sound we have become accustomed to for generations. It is a fake sound and we never stop to ask why.
‘Why’ is a trigger to think differently about something and it is not until we ask why, that we find better ways of doing things.  Preventative maintenance.  The only other way to adapt is to wait for something bad to happen and then do damage control.
Why do we resist asking why?
  • We are obsessed with getting things done, fast.  This means as long as the current method is productive, we do not instinctively questions the status quo. We hesitate to take on the challenge of fixing what is not broken and risking “what’s working”.
  • Asking why is hard. We naturally seek out less intrusive methods and prefer to expend as little energy as possible. The thought of temporarily stopping and losing momentum contradicts being productive.
  • Our ego is hurt by changing our stance.  If in the past we publicly supported a cause, method or movement, changing our minds would be an admission of our previous wrong doing. 
How can we start asking why more often?
  • Raise awareness of triggers. 
  • Engage with questions like:
  • What one task takes up the most of your day?
  • What one task gets you most frustrated?
Then follow-up with:
  • Why do we even need that?
  • Is that essential?”
  • We removing ego as a policy.
  • When the answer to why is: “Because we’ve always done it that way”, it is time to reassess.
Our world will continue to adapt. 
If we resist ‘why’ then we will be making fake shutter sounds forever and eventually look foolish.
Old School Analog Camera

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