Strange And Lonely
November 17, 2015
Our new world...
THIS is fascinating. Go ahead. I'll wait while you scroll through those pictures.
It's difficult for me to understand this behavior even though I see it everywhere, no matter where in the world I am at any given moment.
Is it a fear of intimacy? Is it boredom? Are we just uncomfortable with ourselves?
Why would people be together and spend the entire time staring at their smartphone screens?
Whatever the reason, the insight is this: We have never lived in a more lonely world.
We are desperate for connection, especially in our ever-increasing isolation, the sense that someone "gets" us, likes us, understands us.
Ironically, the one place most people are not mesmerized by their digital device is inside their cars (at least they shouldn't be, and at some point I imagine our phones will have a mandatory safety app that does not allow texting while driving).
Radio has always been a companion.
You, as air talent, have access to tens of thousands of individuals who become anxious when totally alone, disconnected from their iPhone fix, literally going through psychological withdrawal.
The better you understand this and your role as a companion to each individual listening, alone in their cars, the more apt you are to say something that bolsters this sense of human connection.
Liners won't provide that. Contest promos won't provide that. Back-selling a list of songs you played won't provide that.
You have to say something they actually hear, and you have to say something they actually FEEL.
You have to be human -- open and vulnerable and relatable, because that's what pulls them close to you. That feeling that s/he "gets" me, s/he's like me, s/he understands me.
Can you do that?