A life of zapping. Looking for commitment
This digital age has not only changed the way we communicate, it has dramatically changed the way we live. According to the Statista website, in 2018 social media users in Portugal spent about two hours a day connected. In the Philippines and Brazil, around four hours and in Japan and Germany, about 40 minutes.
If in recent years we were stressed juggling time between family, work, friends, sports and hobbies, today our life has become socially “schizophrenic”.
When I was my children’s age there were only two ways to get in touch with me - by landline or simply by ringing the doorbell. Today there are dozens of ways people can reach us. I remember that at their age my references were few. Today our children have thousands of content influencing them by the minute.
The speed Digital has impressed to the world has changed our behaviour dramatically, not only for my children, who are“digital natives”, but also for us. It made everything immediate, in a frightening way.
We currently live in a world of clicks. We share emotions with a click, add friends with a click, create enemies with a comment, and guess what...we stop being friends with...a click.
More serious than that, I feel that in this generation, some millenials measure their own success by the number of followers they have, no matter how irrelevant they might be. I often hear that one has 200,000,000 followers and sometimes we don’t even know who they are, what they do or what they have built.
This generation’s present is lived so fast it even forces us to buy the calm of the moment! How did this happen?
We buy mindfullness everywhere. Do we need to stop? We have an App that forces us to “meditate” ten minutes a day, and yet we are interrupted by the smartphone’s time off, telling us that it’s time to sleep, while we think about that dinner scheduled for the following day at that spot we really want to go to, but oops, we were going to start that diet everyone is going on, and we have that conference call at 9am, immediately after taking the kids to school.
Diaries no longer exist, meetings are scheduled for the same day at a voice memo distance, just as they are cancelled by a simple whatsapp text.
This zapping in life, essentially caused by digital, has led to a behavioural change in all touch points in both our personal and professional lives.
Where is commitment, where are we ending up?
More and more, across generations there is less commitment, whether to talent, in our organisations (with younger generations where it is normal for one week to be highly motivated and the next week to leave because they do not are “happy”), or at the briefing we received to do an event where we invested 500 hours and the client eventually changed his mind and sometimes didn’t even answer the phone or simply at the dinner we had with friends who two hours before invented the excuse that they didn’t get a baby sitter. Even in relationships, Tinder has revolutionised our most intimate moments, just with a click …
In this new age, where many cannot plan their own day, because they are at the mercy of what they feel like due to the overload of information that comes to them through all the means they see, the thousand friend requests, that trip, the trip At sunset, a false idea that they have access to all events or trips, just because they visualise them is the same as the idea of achieving goals without plans… I admit this dynamic is quite confusing.
People have a new sense of urgency generated by the immediacy of social media. Everything is becoming disposable, everything is immediate. The eagerness to experience is so high that sometimes they forget to do so. We are increasingly anxious because our brain is not prepared for this change that in just 15 years completely changed our way we live. Just look at the worldwide sale of anti depressants.
This trend in the way we relate to commitment is changing society, I would even say it is changing the world. What we once said was rude, today is the zapping of life.
by Nuno Santana, Niu director
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