Digital Just Might Be Dead And Why That’s Good

Do any of  you focus on the miracle that is the telephone any more?  We can speak to someone thousands of miles away as if they were in the same room.  How about the fact that we did away with wires on those phones and now they’re “cordless?”  Maybe even that phones are not tied to a location any more but we can walk around with them on the street or in the car.  A miracle, no?  And yet, for those of us that still use voice communication as a preferred method of interpersonal interaction, the telephone is just a means to an end.  We’re so past the technology that we can get back to focusing on the conversation itself, whether or not the person with whom we’re having it is in the room.

"Technology has exceeded our humanity"

"Technology has exceeded our humanity" (Photo credit: Toban Black)

I thought of that as I read the Ad Age piece on their Digital Conference and a statement by Gap’s CMO that “digital is dead:”

He made the bold statement for Ad Age’s Digital Conference, explaining that the idea of “digital” ceases to be relevant when brands stop thinking about technology for the sake of technology and simply think about their purpose.

I like that.  Way too many brands are enraptured by the technology and stop thinking about the business.  They’re focused on the phone and not on the conversation.  Most of us don’t think about how a metal tube moving at hundreds of miles an hour many miles off the ground works – we just get on the plane.  Maybe digital isn’t dead but maybe we’re getting to be post-technological.  We’ve got over the amazement brought on by viewing content anywhere on any screen (when those pesky business relationship don’t get in the way) on demand and instead we just enjoy the show.

I agree we need to spend more time on “purpose” and less time on doing tech because it’s “cool” or the next shiny object.  The next step is to realize that purpose is customer-centric and transparent and not “We talk you listen”.

Isn’t progress grand!

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