What it means to be Human: Technology Changes. You Don’t. What I’ve Learned at SXSW

Austin is alive with rodeo stars and tech geeks this week at the annual Texas convergence of cow chips and digital chips.

SXSW is downtown while the Austin Rodeo is outside town.  Through it all, its obvious that the more things change, the more it stays the same.  Of course, the “it” is you.

In between seeking out the wearables ad nausea, swatting away the swarms of personal drones, feigning enthusiasm for another round of pathetic video games based on “deceit”  and stealing the identity of someone else, new ways to fund a clever idea with a dubious business case, and learning new buzzwords never imagined by people five years older than you, it occurs to me that being human is pretty much the same as ever.

Everyone I’ve met at SXSW wants to feel connected to a community. We want to share something about ourselves. We want to defy death and get an Adrenalin rush without really risking bodily harm. We want to play a game that let’s us set a record score while beating the pants off someone else.  We want to be like certain people. We want to spy on people. We want a new reality. We want to pretend we’re somebody else. We want to avoid certain people. We want to avoid hassle.  We want something to help us get to somewhere else. We want information. We want something we never knew we needed.

In other words, we want to be Human. Whether you’re a cowboy. Or, a zillionaire. A champion gamer. Or, a 17-year old film director.  We’re all the same. So, while I’ve learned that technology and buzzwords change. Being human doesn’t.  The secret is how can technology put us in better touch with being Human. Most of what I’ve seen so far didn’t.