Maria Rybak recently spoke at EmTech during the World Economic Forum 2019 at Davos, covering how the worldwide increase of social media usage is in fact isolating individuals rather than bringing them closer together, and how the PVLSE platform looks to address this issue.
The 2019 Emerging Technologies Investment Meeting brought together entrepreneurs, tech startups, venture capitalists and anyone involved in the fourth industrial revolution — aiding in the growth of technologies that will impact our lives in the future. The event saw professionals from various sectors discussing a range of topics, from big data to stateless societies, and big names such as Galaxy Digital and TechCrunch were in attendance; add the beautiful snowy backdrops of Switzerland and the result is a top tier event.
PVLSE Founder and CEO Maria Rybak was amongst several of the names on the EmTech panel, and spoke about how although digital technology has improved lives in a myriad of ways, there are downsides becoming more evident as time goes on — in particular how social media platforms are effecting both individuals and society as a whole.
Social media has undoubtedly had a monumental impact on our generation and the world in general — platforms such as Facebook and Twitter connect people thousands of miles away from each other, facilitate the creation of support groups for those in need, and can provide a platform for those without a voice to gain one. This being said, there are also negative social media effects that are becoming increasingly apparent as worldwide usage, spanning across all age groups, increases daily.
“When Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook he wanted to accomplish a social mission of making the word more open and connected. Whilst he accomplished the connecting part exceptionally well, it is connecting with a big emphasis on quantity over quality, and by doing this connecting actually loses meaning and purpose, which has ultimately lead us to being more isolated than ever despite being more connected.”
The younger generation especially are known for their social media presence, and the majority of teenagers between the ages 11 and 18 have a Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat account (if not all of the aforementioned). With the explosion of these platforms we have only recently stopped and asked if social media effects are all positive.
“We can surely all relate to a moment where we were lost in the abyss of social media” Says Maria. “There is a lot of guilt involved with wasting time on the internet, especially when we see the extent to which it is affecting productivity. Or even disregarding friends and family, and displaying almost addictive behaviors with regards to our phones.”
We all crave the physiological effects of connecting with other humans, and paradoxically our phones are giving us our dopamine fixes. However, it is an artificial replacement, because nothing can replace real human interaction. PVLSE looks to address this, by facilitating real-world interactions and encouraging people to create or join communities in their local area. The PVLSE platform also allows service providers, small businesses operating within niche markets and entrepreneurs to advertise, communicate and collaborate.
By lowering barriers to entry and providing a platform where people can test their ideas, their business, and themselves, PVLSE gives anyone the opportunity to follow their passion and make money from their skills, regardless of what their qualifications are. The unique combination of a marketplace for service providers embedded in a social network means that people can connect with businesses too, in a more authentic and personalized way.
Without doubt, technology is changing the way we work and think about work. Whilst some worry that artificial intelligence, machine learning and other emerging technologies may nullify the need for human jobs in the future, the team at PVLSE actually welcome the “workplace revolution” and believe that new technology will in fact allow people to pursue their true passions in life — building careers that are successful and fulfilling instead of working 9–5 in a position they dislike just to pay the bills.
PVLSE is working to be at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, and we hope that by offering a hybrid community platform that connects people through their interests and incentivizes participation in offline activities, we can drive peoples attention to what matters.
“We stand at the crossroads of automation threatening job security and employment on the one hand, and on the other creating a fertile ground for disruption. Right now we’re at a pivotal time where we can become the leaders of this workplace revolution.”