What does it take to get people to forget about their smartphone for a moment? Mashable’s Sam Laird thought long and hard about this while visiting “South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival” (SXSW) and came to an interesting conclusion; it involves hugs and a man in a bear suit.
You’re not alone if you ever shook your head at all those souls slowly being consumed by the online world. Maybe you blogged about it, maybe you tweeted or posted a snide comment on Facebook via your smartphone, unaware that you’re in fact one of those lost souls. Nowadays it’s a natural motion – walking, eyes down and smartphone in hand – as if part of evolution. We’re not even aware that we’re doing it.
Sam Laird came to another conclusion as well. The same as blogger Jamie Krug, who went on a social media free vacation with her family, realising that she started living for her loved ones rather than for the online community. You miss a lot when living through your smartphone. Krug speaks of an obsession with constant status updates – not for our own sake, but for the sake of others, your followers and friends. At the same time, we lose the moment that was subject to our attention in the first place, that sliver of beauty in our everyday, real lives.
Social media is a great invention – as a way to keep in touch, as a creative outlet, as a productivity tool. But in the end of the day, it’s just that; a tool. In the business world, social media marketing is an integral part of the marketing mix, having clearly shown that’s a great way to create brand awareness, get a product out there, it’s one of many puzzle pieces in growing a business. Social media will not solve all the problems in the world, but it’s a stepping stone towards real life solutions. Everything in moderation, as always.
So how did the visitors to SXSW react to that bear looking for human warmth? From the look of it, it was a welcome distraction and maybe they even got a glimpse of the actual event.
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Image & video courtesy: dailyscene.com, Youtube; Mashable