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Marketing Agency Exposed Podcast

Jan 6, 2023


Being human in a digital world. It’s no secret that our society has become a digital one; almost everything we do is online or involves the internet. In the last episode, we dove into Bob Hutchins and Jenny Black’s book, Our Digital Soul, breaking down collective anxiety and media trauma. In today’s episode, we continue our discussion of Bob’s book, but we focus more on the solutions and ways to reduce media trauma through screen time and how to heal from the influence of technology. We highly encourage you to check out Bob and Jenny’s book on Amazon or and let us know your thoughts or questions in the comments below. 



In this episode, we continue to discuss  Bob Hutchins and Jenny Black’s book, Our Digital Soul. In our last episode, we talked about what collective anxiety and media trauma are and in this episode, we discuss how to heal as a society and how to remain human in a digital world. In order to remain human, it’s important to consider what defines humanity and then apply those aspects to our lives in the digital age. Bob discusses a few of the ways to remain human. The first one is that staying human is about less. Online we have the world at our fingertips. The internet enables you to do so many things online. Another way to stay human is to accept your limitations. Because the internet is so vast and has “all the answers”, it conditions society to believe that we do not have limitations when online. Bob also discusses the importance of coming to terms with the paradox and mysteries of humanity. Our world isn’t black and white, yes or no, there’s often a lot of gray and maybes. The internet can convince its users that everyone is one way or another and this is false. There are many mysteries to life that we haven’t figured out yet, and sometimes there isn’t a clear cut answer. We as humans also don’t always get what we want, but technology creates the illusion that we can always get what we want due to the lack of limits on technology. As professionals in the technology industry, we are responsible to lead the way and start setting boundaries and being intentional about our marketing and be the start of the solution. You won’t want to miss our next episode where we’ll break down the process of writing a book. If you feel curious about media trauma or want to be part of the solution, don’t forget to purchase Bob Hutchins’ and Jenny Black’s book, Our Digital Soul: Collective Anxiety, Media Trauma and a Path Toward Recovery. 


Top 3 Curtain Pulls in this episode: 


  • Staying human is about less. We’ve all been that person who hoarded their halloween candy or had a random collection of rocks. This behavior is unhealthy, yet we allow ourselves to indulge in it when it comes to technology. We as a society are endlessly scrolling, posting, or hoarding our online experiences. We use technology as a tool to escape the limits of our world. Instead of hoarding when it comes to technology, we might exercise discipline and enjoy the social experience online in moderation. “Successful humanity is about making decisions, sticking with them, and moving forward.”
  • Accept your limitations; you can’t always get what you want. We are human and we have limitations on what we can do and it’s a fact of life that it is impossible to always get what you want. Technology has enabled and conditioned us as a society to believe that because knowledge is so accessible and almost everything is right at our fingertips, we can get whatever we want whenever we want. This is false, and when we ‘return to reality’ after being online and we don’t get what we want, this can drive us back to technology to continue getting the bursts of dopamine. It’s also important to remember that creating beautiful things takes time and effort, it’s not going to be instant or easy and we will make mistakes along the way. “All of the things in the real world take time; it takes accepting our limitations in order to create something beautiful.”
  • Come to terms with the paradox and mysteries of humanity. Though the internet almost always has the answers, recipes, or news you are looking for, there are things that it will never understand. There’s only so much that programming and social media can convey. Nothing is ever just black or white; there is more middle ground than the internet may lead you to believe. Humanity is complex, and it can’t be defined or simplified by technology. “When you're in a digital space. Everything is divided into either or categories. In real life, you're a mix of things. Online, you're actively creating an identity that begins to define you in society. Then it begins to define society, and when the digital definition becomes your primary identity, you will miss out on innumerable human facets of who you are that a program can't translate or compute.”


For more tips, discussion, and behind the scenes:


About The Guys: 

Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from from 2000 -2017. He is also the author of 3 books. More on Bob: 

Brad Ayres: Founder of Anthem Republic, an award-winning ad agency. Brad’s knowledge has led some of the biggest brands in the world. Originally from Detroit, Brad is an OG in the ad agency world and has the wisdom and scars to prove it. Currently that knowledge is being applied to his boutique agency. More on Brad:

Ken Ott: Co-Founder and Chief Growth Rebel of Metacake, an Ecommerce Growth Team for some of the world’s most influential brands with a mission to Grow Brands That Matter. Ken is also an author, speaker, and was nominated for an Emmy for his acting on the Metacake Youtube Channel (not really). More on Ken: 


Show Notes:

[0:31] Bob opens this episode by introducing the topic, part two of Our Digital Soul by Jenny black and Bob Hutchins.

[2:37] Brad talks about how in the previous episode, they discussed the challenges posed to us through social media and screens, and he asks Bob to unpack the solutions and the ways we as a society can heal.

[5:22] Bob begins a discussion about some of the solutions or methods we can use and act on to limit our time on technology and the resulting trauma. “The first one is: Staying human is about less.” “Successful humanity is about making decisions, sticking with them, and moving forward. We look at a person who hoards and we go, that's really unhealthy. We kind of do that in the digital world, we hoard our options. We're endlessly scrolling, we hoard our experiences, because we want to escape from the limits of human existence.”

[8:25] Ken talks about the importance of exercising the discipline muscle because, “once it's gone, it's really hard to get back, and it's so critical in life.”

[9:41] Brad talks about how he’s noticed that often he will use his phone as a way to fill dead space and prevent boredom. “Why do I feel the need to pick up my phone? When there's a dead space? Why can't I just allow this space to happen? And be okay with not having to entertain my mind right now?”

[10:23] Bob discusses the fact that, “boredom is our brain processing”. 

[11:29] Ken adds that your subconscious does process things through sleeping or just when your conscious is not focused or actively doing something.

[12:42] Bob reads a segment from his book and talks about two other ways to remain human in the digital world, “the second one is staying human means accepting limitations. All of the things that in the real world take time, it takes accepting our limitations in order to create something beautiful.”... “Staying human means coming to terms with the mystery and paradox of humanity.”

[17:05] Brad mentions the idea that remaining human in this digital space is not only about what you consume but also how you present yourself.

[20:27] Ken discusses the adage, “with great power comes great responsibility.” and how it applies to technology.

[25:47] Bob reads a section of his book and breaks down the idea that “Staying human also means you don't always get what you want.” and how technology has conditioned our society to believe that we can have whatever we want whenever we want because there are no boundaries to what we can do with technology. 

[32:04] Bob talks about how each of his three kids have grown up in different eras of technology and how it has impacted each of their lives individually. He also talks about some of the rules he and his family have to help them remain human and reduce the time they spend on screens. 

[43:15] Ken asks, “As professionals in this industry, what can we do? To not help hurt the situation, but improve the situation? How do we put boundaries on what we do to be part of the solution and not the problem and still do business?”

[43:58] Bob discusses the importance of giving a genuine experience to your customers that is human and natural that doesn’t exploit their weaknesses through technology. 

[45:35] Ken entertains the idea of, “Putting reasonable limits on the unlimited. Put even limits on E commerce. I was thinking in my head, like, what if we shut down websites at 9pm? Like should websites close?”

[49:40] Bob wraps up by informing listeners that they can purchase Our Digital Soul on Amazon for fifteen dollars. “We're the number one release in the psychology section for about a week and a half. It's called Our Digital Soul: Collective Anxiety, Media Trauma and a Path Toward Recovery. You can go to our digital If you want to know more, or you can just search it up on Amazon.”