The Digital Maslow Pyramid

Author: Francisco Palao (Purpose Alliance Founder & Purpose Launchpad Mentor)


Every day more people are immersed in a digital world that has revolutionized the way we live and in which we satisfy our most basic needs. In this post, Maslow's Pyramid is presented in relation to different digital technologies and applications.


We, humans, are the only animal species that creates technology to continuously reduce our limitations and increase our capabilities. We learned how to control fire in order to cook and to survive in cold environments. We learned how to manipulate metal in order to build all kind of tools of all kinds. We invented different types of vehicles in order to transport ourselves faster. We built airplanes and other types of air transportation to fly. We invented the telephone in order to communicate with people who are far away. And more recently we created digital technologies, which are opening up a world of possibilities for us that would have been totally unimaginable before.


During 2020, humanity suffered the effects of a global pandemic due to the COVID-19 virus, which has forced us to accelerate and intensify the use of digital technologies and applications to continue carrying out essential activities for us. Thanks to this type of technologies, we had immediate access to official sources of information, we were able to keep in touch with our loved ones and, on many occasions, we were even able to continue working remotely.


In short, thanks to digital technologies we have been able to continue to satisfy many of our most important needs. In fact, all this has happened in such a natural way that we have not even been aware of the evolution we are experiencing. Let's analyze it for a moment with a tool that is well known to all of us: Maslow's Pyramid.


In 1943 Abraham Maslow published his theory of human motivation, which is based on a hierarchy of needs represented in his famous Maslow's Pyramid. Today, this model is still totally valid. However, the way in which we satisfy our needs has totally changed as can be seen in the following diagram, which represents the digital version of the Maslow Pyramid.

Let's start with the basic needs, those ones that we need to operate in a normal way in today's world. It may sound like a joke, but it is true that today we need to have access to our mobile devices, we need to have enough battery and, of course, we need to have an Internet connection; without all this we would not be able to do anything in the digital world in which we operate. And of course, we need Neflix (or another similar platform) to be able to relax while we watch our favorite series :-)


These needs are followed by safety needs, those ones that give us access to the necessary resources to live our lives. Currently we do most of our expenses through credit cards or digital payments via PayPal. Also, there is a growing adoption of digital currencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. On the other hand, nowadays we access platforms such as LinkedIn to find new job opportunities and / or to continue evolving professionally.


We, human beings, are a highly social species and we need to communicate with other people on an ongoing basis. That’s the reason why we use WhatsApp, Twitter or Facebook in a daily basis in order to communicate with our loved ones, with our co-workers or even with members of the communities to which we belong.


Also, we can’t deny that everyone seeks recognition and respect from other people in one way or another. There are applications, such as Instagram or TikTok, that allow us to show who we are (or, in many cases, who we would like to be) to other people.


Finally, the highest psychological and existential need of the human being is self-realization. That is, living a life with meaning, a life with purpose. More and more people are searching for their purpose, finding it, and deciding to live their life oriented to this purpose. And in this context emerges the Purpose Alliance, a global community focused on empowering people to create a positive impact in the world aligned with their purpose.


Purpose Alliance emerged in early 2020, in reaction to COVID-19 and many other challenges from thousands of people around the world. In this way, the last element is added to the Maslow Pyramid in its digital version, making it easier for anyone in the world to access a global community that will support them in their own path of self-realization in order to create a better future for themselves and for humanity.


Purpose Alliance, empowering extraordinary people to create a better future!

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