Being “Alone Together” And The Importance Of True Connection.

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As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? As we mentioned before, people are craving visceral experiences and real connection (with unplugging becoming increasingly desirable), but technology is so embedded in our existence, it’s not only changing the way we think, it’s also radically shifting the way we interact with each other and how we define ourselves, both online and offline. Sherry TurkleProfessor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in Science at MIT and a clinical psychologist, has conducted hundreds of interviews with adults and children and amassed countless hours of research to try and shed insights into how an always ‘on’ digital presence is impacting our behaviors and choices. As she puts it:

“Technology promises to let us do anything from anywhere with anyone. But it also drains us as we try to do everything everywhere. We begin to feel overwhelmed and depleted by the lives technology makes possible. We may be free to work from anywhere, but we are also prone to being lonely everywhere. In a surprising twist, relentless connection leads to a new solitude. We turn to new technology to fill the void,but as technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down.”

On the flipside, technology is providing brands with a powerful ability to connect us to each other, amplifying opportunities to interact, to share and to build communities; in fact, consumers are actively seeking brands that help them to do exactly that. As Keith Reinhard (Chairman Emeritus of DDB Worldwide) recently put it, “There is a difference between an algorithm and an insight into human nature, and between mere contact and true connection.”


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