Digital minimalism is coming
Changes are happening at a very fast pace in the digital world. A few years ago, to post content for a large crowd following social media was a nice thing. People who had many followers were the “social elite.” Not anymore. Now, the same people are classified as social media clowns, bending at the will of masses, trying to please their followers. They are seen as needy and clingy. Now, the cool thing to do is to be away from the circus of social media.
In Fjord’s latest trends report, this is termed as “silence is gold.” “We’re seeing a dramatic escalation in the rate at which people disconnect, unsubscribe and opt out to stem the barrage of content and messages that clutter daily life. As consumers, we’ve come to realize that it’s no longer simply a lifestyle choice, but a serious mental health issue. As we put up more barriers between ourselves and digital technologies, organizations must learn how to offer value to users who crave quiet in a noisy world,” the report said.
There is a group of technologists from Silicon Valley who are trying to address and solve this issue. It is called the Center for Humane Technology and they define the problem as: “Technology that tears apart our common reality and truth, constantly shreds our attention, or causes us to feel isolated makes it impossible to solve the world’s other pressing problems like climate change, poverty, and polarization.”
No one wants technology like that, which means we’re all actually on the same team: Team Humanity to realign technology with humanity’s best interests.
What they want to do is to realign technology for humanity’s best interests.
According to Fjord’s report, rather than being big, bold and noisy, to avoid being ignored – or worse, abandoned – organizations need to pipe down. Consideration and respect for individuals’ context will become the pillars of the long-term, value-added, meaningful relationships on which organizations’ futures will depend.
In short, grabbing attention just for the sake of it is out. Being purposeful, meaningful and respectful is in. Once more, less is more.
So what does it mean for regular users of technological products and social media? We will see more of the simplest products hitting shelves, like phones without screens. We will witness brands and celebrities shutting down their social media accounts. We will see the rise in meaningful content production.
It is still difficult for many to think about such a future, but it is coming along all right.