Is an experience not shared still an experience? Did you have the experience if you did not share it? Of course you did, let’s not get too esoterically deep with this. But, what is the first thing you want to do when you are having a great experience? Most people want to share it in some form. People text, tweet, post and even call. Most will take a photo, selfie or otherwise, as part of that sharing.
IT IS US, HUMANS
It’s in our social nature as Humans. When we share an experience, especially a positive experience, it increases our sense of belonging, we enjoy it more than if we did not share it and that is true whether we share with loved ones or complete strangers.
One of numerous relevant studies, this by BYU, definitively showed we feel happier and express greater life satisfaction when we share positive experiences. Again, this applies even if we share with complete strangers.
A Harvard study showed that people who watched (and shared) what they were told was a “boring” video felt better than those who watched an “entertaining” video, without sharing.
And a Yale University study showed that if two people eat a piece of chocolate together, the experience, the very taste of the chocolate itself, was better than if they did this alone, and yes, the chocolate in each case was identical.
This dips into your college psychology classes and our old friend, Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs. You may remember that the base of the hierarchy pyramid is made of physiological and security needs (food and water and safety basically). But further up are the social needs, the need to feel we belong to some group.
BETTER EVENTS, SHARING
If you are an event creator you already know this, but how do you create events that provide deeper and broader sharing experiences? A more transformative, comprehensive, ongoing viral experience?
While the technology is cutting edge, it is often still the basic sharing of photos that achieves this. People take selfies and other photos during events, non-stop it seems, to the point it infringes on the event experience itself. Social media feeds on this, thrives on it, but at a cost. The experience is fundamentally changed if the recording and sharing of the event begins (and it does) to eliminate part of the experience.
But there is (new) technology out there that does not impact the experience in an intrusive manner. In practice, it enhances it, makes it a deeper, longer lasting experience and allows you to share in a more viral and broad manner. Imagine having custom designed event photos (taken by professional photographers) sent to event attendees via mobile phones or shared URL or QR code as the event is occurring…in real time! The social media implications are obvious and even more so as the trend of leaving your phones outside of the event venue accelerates. No doubt additional methods of sharing will evolve with technology (self-broadcasting wearable tech anyone?) but it is all basic Human Nature. We feel better, are happier, even healthier, when we share experiences.