Monday, December 10, 2012

To be connected, a new need

The new era is full of technology in many ways, the different strategies in almost all the sectors are thought using the different online platforms. The gap between my parents’ generation and mine (36 years) makes life absolutely new and different. And, off course, new generations are more visual and quicker that any others because they have all the information in their hands.

The different needs that human have are actually changing too; according to a sociological and psychological analyst, humans have different levels involved in getting their needs met.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow created a 5-level theory of human motivation (Psychology Review, 1943) in which he proposed that peoples’ needs and satisfaction move ‘upwards’ through a common structure which he called a ‘hierarchy of needs.’ Once lower needs of sustenance and safety are met, we aspire to fulfill social, self-esteem, and self-actualization needs. [1]

Also, Mamfred Max-Neef and his colleagues assert a taxonomy of human needs and a process by which communities can identify their “wealths” and “poverties” according to how their fundamental human needs are satisfied.

Max-Neef classified the fundamental human needs and developed a matrix based on the existential categories of being, having, doing and interacting[2].

When Manfred Max-Neef analyzed the different variables, technological aspects were absent and, therefore, new ways to get acceptance and recognition did not include the cyber social network which replaced the interaction in actual physical spaces. Also the need to spend leisure time expending hours in front of the screen probably doesn’t produce the tranquility expected according with the Max-Neef approach. The need to have relationships, were accounted for in different ways in those times.

Now, it depends on context whether or not a person needs to be connected all the time, and whether or not it is a necessity to sleep hugging one’s smartphone. However, it is clear that in one or another way all people in the new century depend in huge measure on cyber space.

Thinking of yourself, where do you locate your need for technology? Let’s think about the new approaches to rethink the contributions presented here. Does the technology cover all, including the high needs for: love, esteem and self-actualization proposed by Maslow? And, finally is it really a need? Or do we self impose such dependence on technology?


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