Human needs are ever expanding!

The war is turning out to be a conundrum not just for me, but I believe for many others as well. The virus and the lock down over the last two years had forced humans to soul search. There was greater ‘human-ness’ businesses and organisations started to bring to the world. Globally, there was greater thrust for a cleaner, more sustainable and more humane way of doing business.

But the war has come right when the world is still recoiling from the after-effects of COVID-19. It has driven a wedge in the collective human soul.

The pandemic accelerated digital adoption, and the war will further accentuate it. The need to be digitally astute and accessible now cuts across sectors, and is seen as a basic attribute of organisations. But most significant is that, human consciousness has started to occupy space in the digital verse of products, platforms and organisations.

The COVID-19 acceleration

During Covid-19, humans in today’s digitally-enabled society were forced to spend most of their time in the digital verse: watching films and news, socially connecting with new people, having conversations and ordering food and health services. During the last two years, digital has become a human companion like nothing before. Enabling needs fulfilment, providing access to emotional succour, instilling a sense of belonging and providing confidence of existence. In a way, the evolution of this platonic relationship provided the impetus for the metaverse to come into being.

In fact, human behaviour during the pandemic is a sort of a window to the future of human digital needs. Demonstrating as it does over the last two years, about how organisations will be forced to respond, evolve and expand to serve the growing needs of humans.

Digital now offers spirituality moorings

In the early days, digital was about fulfilling human functional needs like process requests and status updates, communication over email, and having discreet conversations. But soon the digital verse expanded to have social networks and the whole matrix of social bonding, belonging and myriad emotions came in.

Brands now need to occupy the digital sweet spot, that fuzzy space at the confluence of functional, emotional and ethical needs of the 21st century human

The emotional matrix provided the bedrock for humans to start looking for spiritual mooring in the digital ecosystems. Trust, intentions, responsibilities, values, promises, and behaviour began to matter – not just of humans in positions of influence, but of entire organisations.

No longer is it sufficient for designated people to contain themselves to fulfilling defined functional roles and for organisations to respond to brand-centric needs. All are now expected to be more human and put forth their feelings and come forth with their moral outlook.

For the digital fraternity, the thought cloud about inclusivity and diversity was settling down and the awareness about ethics and sustainability was building in the digital consciousness. Unfortunately, the war threatens to undo the progress. It is a threat that could stall the humanising of digital, with the conflict pushing a dehumanising narrative, what with fake news and data privacy breaches becoming unavoidable. 

Published on 15 March 2022.

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