Are we a digitally-obsessed culture, starved of presence? This new lab finds out 6 years ago

Are we a digitally-obsessed culture, starved of presence? This new lab finds out

In our constantly turned-on and tuned-in world, do we forget to really connect with actual people? A new research lab called Vinaya has opened in London to research the relationship between humans and technology. We're more than intrigued (with our noses buried in our MACs!).

According to Fast Company, the aim is to understand better the human psyche in our modern world of digital reliance. The lab's research will focus on areas such as hyperconnectivity, stress, productivity, human connection, tranquility, happiness and depression by six neuroscientists, an anthropologist, a philosopher, and a psychologist.

The Vinaya lab was created to embody the learning philosophy of the ancient Greek Lyceum, where Aristotle gathered the greatest thinkers of his time to co-exist and collaborate to understand the complexities of the modern human condition. Their mission is to create product-based solutions for some of the issues facing today's generation.


While there have been loads of isolated studies into the effects of technology on us and our minds and bodies, there has been nothing about how our ongoing use changes us, until now.

One of Vinaya's studies has been into individuals and how businesses interact with email and to what extent digital communication enhances or hinders productivity and happiness. Eventually, the aim is to shed light on whether there is a tipping point where email stops being useful and becomes counterproductive.

We know the feeling!



They also produced this beautiful short film earlier this year in a social experiment to examine human bonding, and it might just help you change the way you look at people (or at the very least, stop you from being so digitally-focussed).

'I See You' explored the power of real human connection. As eye contact becomes a rare occurrence in the digital world, they wanted to shed light on a culture starved of presence.

Watch ten strangers make eye contact and silently acknowledge one another for five minutes. The results were touching; uncomfortable laughter, uncontrollable smiling, the pursing of lips, fidgeting of hands, tears.

We're excited to hear the ongoing results and products to help us live happier lives. Tell us, what do you think, are we digitally-obsessed? Are our kids? And what effect do you think is has on us? Email us on

Images via Vinaya.