Part of me wishes that LifeScale was released in 2020. I know, I know, it’s not the most popular year. But it is the year that we were, en masse, informed about our “social dilemma” and also further thrust into living a digital-first life at work and at home, which basically became the same thing, i.e. WFH, WFHLife, work from home, work from anywhere, remote work, et al.
Early in 2020, as lockdowns were in their initial onset (in some states), I spent time with “Meetings Minds.”
Why do we reach for our phone continually, and why do we buy online the things we do? Brian Solis is a digital anthropologist and he shares with us what it means to be “rewired for distractions”
Before COVID-19, or BC, we were already on a path where digital was rewiring us. The pandemic only accelerated and propagated our evolution. The thing is, we didn’t necessarily have a choice in how we were changing.
I hope this conversation helps you take the help of any rewiring to be done moving forward…
What is being a digital anthropologist mean?
At the time when I came up with it, it wasn’t anything. It’s now and official practice. Hopefully someone does their homework and trace it to it’s early roots. My phase of it was in the mid 90’s. The internet 1.0 was starting to become pervasive. The consumer facing internet. What I started to notice was that anyone who had access to the internet was starting to change in how they communicate, how they convene, how they network, where they’re spending their time and how. I would continue to study those differences and how they played out. This is now over several years, through the late 90’s on how they changed, how they shopped for example. How they made decisions, influenced in making those decisions. The concept of digital anthropology was my way of understanding how things were changing at a human level in order to help at that time, tech companies, better engage, sell, and reach them.
Now I study how people are changing and reverse engineer that for a number of scenarios.
How do you see this time affecting human behavior moving forward?
This a deep philosophical question. To give you some context, in the 90s and mid 2000’s, we saw 2 big events that changed the course of humanity. The internet, Facebook + Twitter + Social networks, introduction of the iPhone. Those things changed the course of everything. At the time I called the customer, customer C for connected. You couldn’t talk about them as demographics anymore.
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