Arianna Huffington on unplugging, recharging, and regaining our humanity

Posted by Lori Luechtefeld on April 13th, 2011 at 8:59 am

Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, has a lot of insights to share, and she shared many of them during her keynote presentation at this week's ad:tech in San Francisco. But perhaps her most profound suggestion, she admitted, was this: If you're sleeping with your devices plugged in beside your bed, stop it.

"We are increasingly going to need to disconnect from our hyper-connected existence," she said. And, she noted, this starts with getting a good night's sleep. After all, sleep fuels creativity -- something that our societal obsession with sleep deprivation is squashing.

Her other equally compelling predictions for the future of media and our lives in general included:

An increased emphasis on humanity
As evidenced by the significant rise in cause marketing, humanity is now good for the bottom line. And that means something dramatic is happening. Competition has been eclipsed by collaboration, and that's an exciting world to live in.

A move toward the local level
Our human existence is local. And the local level empowers us as people because that's where we can get things done. We're increasingly detached from national media and the hype machine. Instead, we're committing to our local communities and making real, tangible differences.

More real-life connections
While we are seeing a great explosion in everything digital, we are also seeing a greater need for real-life connections. In fact, the immersion in the former leads to the craving for the latter. We don't just want to talk to friends via Facebook. We want to see them. We want to shake their hands and hug them. This need should fuel our marketing and our media. Don't just talk facts. Talk (and show) real-life human impact.

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