How Digital Has Made Us More Aesthetically Inclined

You can’t read a techie news site these days without finding an article about “Big Data.”  There is tons of hype, fear, fascination — whatever you want to call it — over this year’s buzz term.  It’s true that we’re inundated with data and it seems we are bombarded with numbers, codes, and more and more information constantly, and its all thanks to the digital age.  Geeky coders and number crunchers rule!

But at the same time, something beautiful and fundamentally human is going on thanks to the proliferation of digital.  We are hearkening back to our pre-historic, visual roots and actually becoming more aesthetically aware, sensitive and inclined.  The digital space has a given us not only access to beautiful imagery thanks to social networks like Pinterest, Instagram or programs like Google’s Art Project which allows you to see paintings from around world up close; but ALSO tools to hone our aesthetic passions, e.g., camera phones, Photoshop, and iPhoto, to name a few.

We appreciate and seek out beauty more!  Now its time for marketers, educators, and industries to respond in kind.

A recent Mashable article, “Why Great Design Is the Future of Content Marketing” also touches on this phenomenon, and advocates for brands to employ more visual story-telling in their marketing efforts.  The article focuses both on the value of intuitive, smart design as well as a wonderful aesthetic experience.

It makes sense.  First, we’ve always made sense of data by visualizing it — think geometry, blueprints, abacuses. But, also, by tapping the multiple sides of our brains — the emotional, aesthetic, and logical ones, with visual story-telling, will help sear the data in our minds.

While we appreciate the information that comes from Big Data, at a fundamental level, we want that information to appeal to ALL parts of our brain.  In other words, don’t just give us numbers, give us pictures.  Make it beautiful.