Paradox of connectedness: the sad state of Gen C holiday experiences

Gen Y bali holiday I’ve blogged alot over the years about Generation C – the ‘Connected Generation’ and their need to be constantly connected to their friends, sharing content with the world. But this pic, which popped up on my newsfeed this morning, just blew me away. Here’s a handful of cool, educated late 20 somethings from Australia, NYC and London all gathering in Bali for a wedding, yet they’re completely engrossed in their screens when you’d think they’d be engrossed in conversation.

Gen C crave experiences over material goods. We know this. They crave connection. We know this. They crave sharing their world to show off and belong. We know this. Showing that you’re always connected (even on holidays with your closest mates eating brekky) on Facebook is now a badge. New to me.

This pic is very symbolic of Gen C and the paradox of connectedness.  These friends, who likely haven’t seen each other for a while seem more disconnected than connected in the physical sense. The impact of screens on our youth is being studied by people  much more intelligent than me, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that our screens are having a profound impact on our interpersonal skills. The Gen C mantra of ‘I share, therefore I am’ has completely taken over.

What happened to holidays where you just talk to people, chill and catch up?

Look, I’m not on this holiday and I’m sure they’ve all had an amazing time catching up, sharing stories about their lives etc, but the fact that they’re all compelled to start their day ‘together’ by uploading to Instagram, Facebook and check emails is really a sad state of affairs for this generation. If ever a ‘digital detox diet’ was in need, it’s for these cool cats 🙂 Chill out. Unplug. Talk to each other. Live in the moment. Ban wi-fi at resorts 😉

Smart gets #urbanyouth with #FourTwo skateboarder content

A piece of content I wish I’d created. Great piece of youth marketing by Smart, for their FourTwo. Awesome inspiring use of skateboarders Kilian Martin and Alfredo Urbon to get urban Gen Y’ers to desire their wheels. Simple message, powerfully delivered & totally shareable. Goes to show you don’t need to bombard with features to engage. Thanks to my old colleague @aj_lockhart for the shout.

Sprite ‘true self expression’ campaign #spritetrueselves

Really liking this new global Sprite campaign from my old agency BBH NY – originated by Jordan Kraemer a great copywriter i had the pleasure of working with. Taps into a universal truth about global truth, the need for ‘true self expression’ and feeling comfortable in their own skin within the tribe –  THis campaign brings this thought to life, Sprite being the catalyst for this behaviour. They’ve created awesome street art in Prague  technique by camouflage artist Liu Bolin. Nice work Sprite, will definitely cross borders.

Adidas 2012 Olympics anthem for British youth #takethestage

Awesome anthem for British youth in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympics by Adidas. Captures the spirit of British youth perfectly and the Adidas values of authenticity and  energy. I have to disclose that although my agency Iris Worldwide didn’t do this work, Adidas are a client I work on, so I am a little biased 🙂 Well done Adidas and Sid Lee.

Red Bull Streetart View with Google

An amazing collaboration earlier this year between Google and Red Bull to create the world’s larget street art collection via crowdsourcing. I love this idea not only because it’s an amazing collaboration between two great brands, but because it’s about ‘doing’ something for a community of street artists. It’s another great example of the power of technology and the crowds influence to create cultural influence. It recently won a Cannes Lions in the community/applications category. Well done guys.

Who is Generation C

A speech I gave last year at a digital conference here in Sydney on who is Generation C. This is Part 1 where I cover off who these digital natives are and their relationships with brands and each others. Part 2 will of the presentation which I’ll post shortly was about how to create conversation and tribal ideas with Gen C. Stay tuned.