As social media becomes more robust and more people adopt various platforms, brands appear to be increasingly interested in taking previously real-world activities and turning them into social media activities. Why talk to your customer on the phone when you can chat with them on a social platform? Why have an in-store event at only one location when you can have a virtual gathering? Why have an in-person meeting when you can solicit responses via some antiseptic community platform?
I’ll tell you why.
Because the REAL WORLD is important. Humans have evolved over a significant period of time to interact socially in certain ways. Our brains crave (and indeed grow from) interpersonal experiences. As much as we like to think that digital replications of those real world experiences are just as good (or better), they are not. Edward M. Hallowell talks about the importance of the “Human Moment.” He defines the “Human Moment” as “an authentic psychological encounter that can happen only when two people share the same physical space.”
The Human Moment is critical, and you can’t have one via Facebook.
Now, I am, of course, a huge proponent of the power of social media. The point of this little dish is not to bash social media and suggest a return to a pre-agrarian society. My point is simply that brands (and, indeed, all of us) should not lose site of the fact that adopting digital experiences at the expense of real world experiences is probably not in anyone’s best interest.