In our digital world, it is easy to find yourself feeling alone and isolated, even though we are all connected. All the time. Since the introduction of the iPhone, depression and suicide rates in young adults have skyrocketed.
We feel and hear and see everything. All the time. At the same time. We don’t pick up the phone to call someone and connect one-to-one. Instead, we scroll through social media outlets, reacting in emojis.
The loss of real, personal connections, I believe, is driving people to feel that what they are going through is specific to them, that no one could possibly relate. Couple that with the market’s drive for customization and personalization and, suddenly, we’ve removed our connectedness.
Over the last year in particular, most of us in this country have been witness to many stressful situations. I suggest we modernize our attitude and leverage technology to normalize what people are feeling. We can create a sense of mass intimacy by using communication platforms (advertising, social media, wellness apps, etc.) to allow people to feel that others (hundreds, thousands, millions of others) are feeling the same way. At the same time.
The idea of mass intimacy is found in other forms, outside of technology, as well. Think about some of our favorite singers, their lyrics basically telling us, “I know what you are going through.” This gives us a shared connection — an intimate connection.
I have resigned myself to the idea that my kids are not ever going to be without their smartphones, so if we can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right? We need to look to technology to support us. We can’t assume that to be well a 30-day cleanse will do the trick. I have found a few apps that are making strides in this direction, and I am hopeful that we will continue to see more.