SXSW: The Pros And Cons Of Constant Connection

SXSW: The Pros And Cons Of Constant Connection

This story was originally published by

It's South by Southwest time (SXSW) time in the States, and B&T has teamed up with creative agency The Royals for some blogging.


It’s South by Southwest time (SXSW) time in the States, and creative agency The Royals are blogging about the best bits. Check out the full blog here. In this post, Dave King, director of strategy, pulls apart what’s good and bad about being ‘on’ all the time.

So here’s something everyone has an opinion on: the pros and cons of constant connection. To be honest, I was worried heading into this panel discussion that we would be preached at, that there would be a consistent narrative of “be present, be mindful” etc. But thankfully it was more nuanced than that, largely due to the presence of the incredibly insightful, Christine Batcho. Ms. Batcho is a psychologist and a professor in the Psychology Department at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. Her research has ranged from early work in human-computer interaction to the impact of higher education on how society is evolving as a result of the influx of opportunities to interact with social data.

The panel discussion which also featureed Paul Tyma from and Jenny Stoltenow from 3M marketing, was divvied up into observations about the constant connection which either contributes to, or detracts from, each stage of Maslow’s hierecahy of needs. A useful framework to pump through sixty minutes of commentary.

When considering physiological drivers, the point was made that many of today’s interactive or social experiences (eg. Fitbit) attempt to create motivations rather than address them.This is interesting because I think the best emerging experiences today convert you to care more about the intrinsic movitation (eg. getting fit, dieting, meeting people) rather than the gamified elements added after the fact. Apps and interactivity that can’t pass your attention onto, or back to, the intended core motivator, eventually come across as gimicks and novelty. 

There was also plenty of chat about the delegation of control within interactive experiences. When the app demands too much of you without a reasonable exchange of value, people can feel like they’re at the wrong end of the “Who’s the Boss?” equation. It needs to be a balance of reward and demand. Seems obvious, but perhaps if we put all of our branded websites and experiences through this filter we wouldn’t ask users for so much in exchange for so little.

Overall, Ms. Batchco summed up the ultimate paradox that exists when thinking about the value connectivity and socialisisation has brought to many people. The internet allows people to be connected, but the more time people spend on social media websites, the worse they feel. Some people are helped, but a lot of people feel disconnected. Its social but at a distance – it’s great until you hang up the phone.

The great hope is that we can continue to learn from what’s come before us and that we can enrich peoples’ lives in the softer emotions: empathy and compassion, and learn how to understand identity in new ways. All the emphasis used to be on ego and the “I”, in Freudian terms. This doesn’t work anymore. Our work should serve people, not just use them.

This post has been republished with full permission.

Please login with linkedin to comment

anorexic models Casella Brands prc

Latest News

QUT Business School Launches “Make it Real” Via BCM Group
  • Campaigns

QUT Business School Launches “Make it Real” Via BCM Group

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Business School has launched a new brand platform, developed by BCM Group, built to encourage prospective students to upskill, invest in themselves, and nurture their inner entrepreneur.

Making A Name For Your Brand In A New Market: Tips For Launching A Campaign Globally
  • Opinion

Making A Name For Your Brand In A New Market: Tips For Launching A Campaign Globally

Jacqueline Gonzales [featured image] is the Head of Global Marketing at Squarespace. In this piece, she shares her best pieces of advice for launching a campaign globally. It’s estimated that we see between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. In today’s digital landscape we’re constantly bombarded by so many different brand messages from every […]


by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Acast Announces New Podcast ‘The Elements’
  • Media

Acast Announces New Podcast ‘The Elements’

From the audio producer of The Teacher’s Pet comes The Elements, a new Acast Creator Network podcast hosted by Thredbo survivor Stuart Diver. The Elements is a  podcast that journeys into the heart of surviving a natural disaster and will be hosted and distributed by the creator-first podcast company Acast as part of the Acast Creator […]