Skip to main content

The New Social Reality


Today, people have two lives, their online lives and their offline lives. Online life represents the good side; it is always thriving and beautiful. Offline life has ups and downs. As technology becomes more human, these two lives become one, creating a new social reality. We cannot longer split our feelings, thoughts, and actions between these two worlds. This time, the digital is for real.
We are social animals. We need to be part of our social environment. We are good at monitoring public opinion so that we can fit in. We try to present an enlarged version of ourselves online through selfies or cool pictures. We keep silent whenever we disagree with prevailing views. We send happy emojis even though we don't feel happy.
However, this virtual reality has a dark side: social pressure. Exposure to other people's lives can leave us feeling less successful and even frustrated over our own lives. There is pressure to portray an inflated version of ourselves so we can try to fit in.
Technology has the power to bring us together and pull us apart. The more human the technology, the more real we become.
Below are just a few examples of human technology from this year's winter show at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU. You can follow this link to see the full list of student projects, which are fascinating and mind blowing.
Real emotions when texting, no emojis - Real Me is a live chatting app, with BLE-connected sensors, that uses graphics and messages to reveal a user's real emotion while chatting. It tracks a user's emotions, using system messages to describe the user's true emotions.
Real love in Tinder - the True Love Tinder Robot will find you love, guaranteed. With Tinder open, you move your phone down the front of the robot's hand. Then, you place your own human hands on the sensors. As you are looking at each Tinder profile, the robot will read your heart's true desire through the sensors and decide whether or not you are a good match for that person, based on how your body reacts. If it determines that you're attracted to that person, it will swipe right. If not, it will swipe left. Throughout the process, it will comment on your involuntary choices.
Real pictures on social media - ThisIsReal aims to take users through the process of retouching, by layers, several images of ordinary people; users will be able to wipe away the layers on a touch screen and watch the layers vanish, quantifying how much work goes into creating a non-realistic person.

In summary, we are moving to a new type of Internet experience, one that not only knows what you do but also knows how you feel and think - a true, human experience, powered by wearable devices, which involves real feelings, thoughts, and actions. This time, digital is for real.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Cool Brands Stay Hot: Aim for Love, Not Likes

Love is an unconditional emotion while like is a more watered-down version of love. Loving someone means that he or she means everything to you while liking someone implies that you are only happy being with that person. Love involves deeper, stronger emotions, while like is more of a tender feeling towards that special someone. In a world of infinite choices, love is everything. Like is a nice to have.  Today, we live in a world of abundance, where people intent to create content surpass their time to consume it. Video content is much easier and cheaper to produce than at any other time in history. YouTube sees 400 hours of video uploaded every minute. Facebook has more than 250,000 status updates in the same span. We could never read and see everything online.  With unlimited possibilities and limited time, we pay sustainable attention to what we love and divided attention to what we like. We spend hours watching Homeland and give our divided attention to our news feed on Facebook. …

Adidas kills TV. Now, let’s debate

The News: Adidas is ditching TV for digital. The company is looking to boost its e-commerce revenues from $1.06 billion in 2016 to $4.25 billion by 2020 — and Adidas wants to use digital channels to get there. The Rationale: Fish where the fish are. Younger consumers don't watch TV anymore. They spend most of their time on their mobile devices. The Controversy: Why do they want to ditch a medium that is allegedly more "critical" to the brand and that generates more sales than digital? Here we have the Debate between TV and digital: Media Consumption TV: People are watching TV now more than ever.  Digital: People are consuming media more than ever, but mostly through digital devices. The Fact: In 2017, people are projected to spend 6 hours on digital – with the majority being mobile devices - while only spending 4 hours consuming television according to the eMarketer forecast. Younger viewers watch 2.5 times more internet video than TV. Consumers aged 13-24 watch 12.1 hours …

Winter and Summer in Adland

It is winter in Adland.  We have moved from a world of scarcity to a world of abundance and algorithms.  We have lost the power of influence. Trust has been severely damaged.  Consumer attention is the new bottleneck. We no longer decide who sees us. Instead, we get picked.  30 second is not enough anymore. We need to take consumers through a scenic journey to create a long lasting relationship.  Everyone is a publisher. It is easier than ever to create, but harder than ever to make a hit.  The impulse to make has far outrun the desire to consume.  New forces have emerged in the form of sophisticated algorithms.  A new model has surfaced called "pay per play,” which scored everything we do on relevance to feeding the machine. It decides what gets picked, when, and where, based on extreme relevancy.  Mass media has vanished. Precision and personalization have emerged.  It is winter in Adland. The good days are all long gone.  It is Summer in Adland We now have the power to make bra…