Cannes Lions: Beware the dangers of hyper-connectivity, says Arianna Huffington

People must beware the dangers of hyper-connectivity and ensure they disconnect from our always-on world to guarantee sustained creativity, according to Huffington Post’s editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington.

Speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity today, Huffington warned that unless people disengage and “unplug” from devices which keep them tied to their job they will burn out, losing their effectiveness and the creativity necessary to drive innovation.

“Our world has become unmanageable. We have all these smart people with high IQs running the world, but they are not wise and they are making stupid decisions,” she said.

Huffington believes that women will lead this change. “We are about to see the third women’s revolution," she explained.

“The first was getting the vote, the second was asking for equality in government, business, media etc, and the third will be women saying ‘we don’t want to be at the top of your world – we want to change it – because the world men have created is not working – it’s not working for your women, for your men or polar bears'.

“We must create a world that is sustainable for individuals and the planet.".

Huffington likened the current structure of success to a “phallic” symbol, adding “you go straight up and then you crash. Success is defined by money and power – it’s a two-legged stool and you are going to fall off – it doesn’t make for a successful life.

“That’s the paradox of our hyper-connected world – we have become disconnected with ourselves and we must change that,” she added.

At the Huffington Post nap rooms have been introduced so people can have power naps in the afternoon, and it also has yoga classes to encourage its employees to switch off, ensuring they don’t burn out and sustain their creativity, according to Huffington.

It has also launched a free iOS app, called GPS for the Soul, which is designed to help individuals map their down time and assess stress levels and heart rates so it can alert them if they are overdoing things.

“My key message is to not let stress accumulate… and recognise the importance of sleep, too. We must rediscover the value of sleep. My bedroom is a device-free century. If I want to read I read a book – remember those?

“…There is so much data to show that this works. Wellbeing is becoming something brands want to become more and more associated with,” she added.

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