Red pill or blue pill?
The future of post-pandemic digital experience

December 16, 2021

Author: Dr Paul Marsden, Digital Strategist SYZYGY GROUP


Attention brands and agencies. We have a new ‘red pill / blue pill’ situation emerging (and no, not just because of the latest Matrix Resurrections movie).

You know how it goes. Take the blue pill and you get to stay in digital reality. An easy, safe, comfortable, and convenient world of streamed and algorithmically-matched digital services, content, and experiences.

Or take the ‘red pill’ and step out of the digital world, look up, and experience the puppet strings that have been manipulating you.


Blue pill digital experience

The ‘blue pill’ vision of post-pandemic digital experience is one that is being pushed right now by two of the biggest companies in the world. Facebook (sorry, Meta) and Microsoft.  Here, the future of digital experience lies in jacking into the(ir) metaverse or matrix and living more of our lives off-world in a sea of digital bits and bytes. A new life awaits you in the metaverse colonies! A chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure! (Hat tip to Blade Runner)

Whether this is meta-nonsense, the metaverse, the mesh or the matrix, ‘blue pill’ digital escapism is certainly a post-corona trend that’s been tagged by trend agencies. It sure sounds inviting in a world of post-pandemic division, dysfunction and discord.

Even if things, in truth, are not a bad as they sometimes seem in our black mirrors, the attention-economy algorithms that are peddling outrage, catastrophe, and salacity in the service of digital advertising, will sure make it seems that way. But remember, a new life awaits you in the metaverse colonies! A chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

Just take the blue pill. Jack-in, drop out. You’ll feel better.

Red pill digital experience

The red pill vision of post-pandemic digital experience is not about stepping further into a digitalised life.

It’s about (waking up to) digital in our world, not us in a digital world.

It’s about embracing a connected physical world over digital simulation. It’s about being more aware of the unsettling and life-changing truths about how hyperconnectivity can both help and harm us in our physical world.

So, for us at SYZYGY GROUP, red pill digital experiences should be helpful digital experiences put to the service of real-world human health, human happiness, and human prosperity.

This red pill vision of digital experience is one that is being built by an emergent ‘positive technology’ movement that is gaining ground in UX, design, and communication. We think it’s the future of digital experience. Positive technology is about technology that improves real-world quality of life, rather than distracts from life. It’s about crafting and maintaining a healthy relationship with technology, where healthy tech habits help people thrive. And done right, it’s about turning digital into a superpower that extends human capabilities, opportunities, and potential in our world.

At SYZYGY GROUP, we’re fans.

Positive Computing

Along with Rafael Calvo, Dorian Peters and others, we are pioneering a new positive vision for digital experience

So, we say f*@k Zuckerberg’s metaverse. We’re not avatars. We’re physical.

red pill

Red pill or blue pill?

The choice is yours.

But if you’re looking for a red pill agency that can make real world difference to your business and to the real world lives of your customers, then talk to us at SYZYGY GROUP.


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Dr. Paul Marsden
Dr Paul Marsden Digital Strategist
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