Craving human warmth in the digital world

A theologian at Uniting Church once told me that all humans really crave is love, respect and intimacy. Heart break, especially in our childhood, can make the pursuit of  love , respect and intimacy  all too painful and in response we pursue substitutes, like work and food. None of these substitutes ever replace the real thing, leaving us feeling empty, and the craving returns.

“Interesting insight” you may think,  ” but what is this doing on a Thought Leaders blog on brands”. In fact nothing could be more relevant, the ability to fulfill unmet needs, is at the core of every powerful brand. Every unmet need has an emotional charge and is about a desire to become our ideal self.

We all have roles for the self: mother, business person, health food junkie, but at our core we want to be in connection with others. Our ideal self is intimate, able to express feelings, has love (where people come together to commit to the highest good of each other), and respect, honouring the rights and boundaries of each other.

In the digital world, information is lean and disintimate, relationships are momentary and people do not spend enough time together to “feel” felt by another. Social media has replaced the social function of a neighbourhood.

The purpose for being together online tends to transactionary….  and in the end there is a craving out there for human warmth, I would dare to even say an “ache”.

Brands have an opportunity to meet these needs. Brands that can  facilitate things like community, nature, human touch and  passion can bring us back into connection with each other.  It also gets back to the basics, brands that can create and serve a relationship, based on a warm emotional connection will ascend.

For ourselves we need to take stock and remember when we feel pulled from tweet to post to set some priorities around those things that truly fulfill us and the only value that endures: love, respect and intimacy.

Louise Kelly

Managing Director

Hearts and Minds

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