What Is Human Individualisation in the Digital Age?

What Is Human Individualisation in the Digital Age?

04. May 2018

With the dawn of new technologies and digital transformation there are now new ways to communicate both in the working world and your private life, there: Never before have you had so much freedom regarding with whom you want to communicate, where, at what time and over which channel.

However, for many people this digitalisation also means that the cherished person-to-person dialogues, whether face-to-face or by phone, are suddenly taking place on 010101010101010101-coded messaging apps.

Where and how is the human need for personality, humanity and individuality satisfied? Let’s take a look at a sector that is right in the middle of its digital transformation: the film industry. Not so long ago, the cinema release of a new blockbuster was a highlight for every movie fan, but today it’s all much more relaxed. Thanks to the plethora of digital options, we know that the movie will be available on any channel within no time: on demand TV, as an online download or as a stream. It’s your choice; you can decide individually – you live out human individualisation.

What Was Considered Science Fiction 10 Years Ago Is Now Possible Anytime, Anywhere
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This principle can also be applied to your digital communications. Average users of digital devices launch up to ten apps each day and check their smartphone for new messages hundreds of times. The sheer number of available and technically perfect possibilities create a new sense of freedom in communication. What was merely wishful thinking ten years ago is now possible: Short messages, social updates, video calls and phone calls – you can communicate anytime, anywhere and with anyone.

This form of human individualisation is not completely new to the digital world. There was talk of a consumerisation of IT for a long time. The abstractness of technology received a human touch. Until then, technology was considered unapproachable. As a human user, you should learn to handle technology in a natural way – you can use applications, devices and systems in the same way you would interact with a human being.

Who doesn’t remember questionable ideas such as that every student should be able to speak at least one programming language? With the consumerisation of technology, user needs have come to the fore: Technology should be easy to use and tailored to human needs. Technology becomes a means to an end – helping you act faster, better and more efficiently.

Consumerisation of IT Lays the Foundation for Digital Transformation at Society Level
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The consumerisation of IT has created the conditions for making technology mainstream and to help drive digital transformation forward on a large scale. Regardless of devices, time and space, digital is becoming the universal link that connects all areas of your life together.

Above all, digital embodies a sociological change where the question of why is paramount: Why is digital transformation happening in the first place? Why do you use social media to connect with friends? Why do you use mobile applications to communicate in the workplace? These are not technical, but rather sociological questions. We’ve come full circle here and the questions regarding the role of humans in the digital age and our need for individuality tie in seamlessly.

New technologies cannot ignore our basic need for individual communication and cannot fundamentally change our communication behaviour either. Rather, we have reached a point where technology must be based on human needs. Communication is becoming more comfortable and is taking into account a growing need for freedom.

Before you read further, you should definitely check out this blog post where we deal with the different developmental stages of digital progress. Did you know that we are taking the next big step in the digitalisation of our communication with language? Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri are the harbingers of a new voice war!

The Human Need for Individuality Fuels Digital Transformation – and Benefits from It
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What does individuality mean in the digital age? There are technical ways to express your individual needs faster and more directly than ever before. With your need for individuality, you are always placing new demands on technology. You accelerate digital transformation. At the same time, you benefit from the possibilities that new technologies bring to the table. A perpetual motion of technological progress and sociological change is emerging.

However, there is a downside to life in a connected world with all the newfound freedom of being able to communicate with anyone, anywhere and at any time: Those who lose control of their means of communication quickly feel overwhelmed. The boundaries between your private life and your job quickly merge and it is increasingly difficult for you to maintain distance, to set boundaries, and to be your own master. Meanwhile, psychologists are now diagnosing a symptom called digital anxiety – this is the moment when human individualisation turns into emotional loneliness.

Do you feel like you spend too much time using non-relevant apps? Or on communication channels that lead to higher stress levels rather than concrete benefits? Treat yourself to a digital break – this too belongs to human individualisation in the digital age! We have compiled 10 tips for you on how to maintain a healthy use of new technologies.

You know it best yourself: The digital universe is growing relentlessly. The volume of our communication data doubles every two years, and this is only going to increase exponentially in the future. Whether you like it or not, you are part of a communication network that is universally available, operates 24/7 and that continues to grow. The digital age has probably created the best conditions for human individualisation. It is our responsibility to make the most of this and to place human beings at the centre of digital transformation.

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