In a time of isolation, our need to be connected and engaged with those around us is stronger than ever. Staying at home has heightened the idea of the new ‘connectivity economy’ – one where the true value of goods, services and experiences, and the fulfilment you get from them, is driven by its ability to create a feeling of connection – to other people, to new places, material items and, perhaps most importantly, to oneself.
In this new economy, we’re moving away from impulsive, often chaotic experiences that peak too quickly, and more towards human interaction. Where we once craved constant stimulation – access to the latest restaurants, the most coveted events or hottest destinations – we are now motivated by something more meaningful. We’re looking to be inspired and feel enriched, we want impact from our decisions, and a more emotional connection with the world – and people – around us.
As we lean towards greater self-actualization, the new connectivity economy allows us the opportunity to experience new environments and expand our horizons like never before.
Here are 5 ways to embrace it.
1. Connecting to each other
Human beings are inherently social creatures and, according to a Harvard Study of Adult Development, it’s proven that embracing community is explicably linked to longer term health and happiness. Connecting with others creates a feeling of being valued and understood, offers greater purpose and motivates a better brain. The past few weeks have seen us all strive for closer connections – work teams are coming together daily on video conferences, friends are sharing online happy hours and game nights, family meal times have become the norm not the anomaly, and kindness and a willingness to share abounds. Being far apart has brought us all closer together, inspiring conversation and a chance to learn something new.
What you can do to feel more connected to others: Ensure regular video calls with old friends or family. Start new traditions, be it a quiz night, monthly book club, wine tasting or a Sunday evening virtual dinner party series. Take the time to connect to experts – enjoy an online art history lesson from a curator, or sign in to a virtual webinar from a business leader. This is the time to feel enlightened and ready to strive for your next success.
2. Connecting to new places
While we may not be able to travel physically at this moment, the desire for wanderlust remains and fulfilment is just a click away. From bespoke virtual gallery tours, to online travel safaris, we can visit anywhere, from The Met to Machu Picchu. And, while we may forgo the overload of senses true adventure offers, this is the time to enjoy nature at its most peaceful, exploring the world in a connected and meaningful way.
What you can do to connect and discover new places: Embark on a virtual tour with a friend based anywhere in the world – go together to see the Northern Lights, take a train journey across Norway, or observe a gorilla conservation center in the middle of the Congo. Connect with a cultural expert for a localised tutorial of a city and, importantly, get excited and inspired for where you want to travel to next in the months to come.
3. Connecting to new experiences
With greater connectivity comes a new boldness – a curiosity to explore and self-improve. Connecting to your own new experiences, and the experiences of others, offers a chance to collaborate, learn new skills and new rituals, and enjoy intellectual conversation. This time of isolation has meant many once inaccessible experiences are now available to us within our own homes – unique concerts, world renowned DJ sets, global festivals, group meditation or yoga sessions. From listening to Andrea Bocelli, to watching a movie at the Tribeca Film Festival or dancing at Burning Man, we can feel a part of life changing new environments, expand our knowledge and get our creative juices flowing.
What you can do to connect and invest in unique experiences: Take the time to learn new skills and delve into new interests, from studying a new language or martial art, to mastering a musical instrument and embarking on cookery lessons.
4. Connecting to our everyday “things”
As we all stay within the confines of our homes, we’re forced to evaluate the material things that are important to us, day to day. Our living quarters, and our routines within them, hold the key to our everyday happiness and productivity. Connecting to what makes our surroundings and space more satisfying means embracing the smaller things that bring us a sense of comfort and inspiration.
What you can do to connect to things in your every day: Focus on home improvement, revamp your space with a new lamp, rug or throw. Invest in new cooking equipment, take the time to organise family photograph albums, or make a start on those untouched to-do lists. Clearing out cupboards, wardrobes or garages can bring in new space and allow you to better connect with the things you actually want and need.
5. Connecting to oneself
In our busy, ever-changing world, the most valuable and long lasting relationship you can have is, of course, with yourself. In this new connectivity economy, we are taking more time to self-reflect, and return to the passions, purpose and experiences that matter to us the most. Self-care and self-love have become vital. Moments of calm and stillness that were once ignored, or taken for granted, have become integral to every day, as we learn that taking time to connect to yourself is your own responsibility, and always worth the investment.
What you can do to connect more with yourself: Give yourself the luxury of living in the now – wake a little earlier each day to take the first hour of the morning just for you, enjoy a stroll in the sunshine, start a journal to share intentions, inspirations and happy moments, listen to music, read a book, indulge in a self-care pampering session, or simply enjoy being still and alone.