Protecting Human Connection

People are influential on their own.

People collaborating is more powerful and beautiful.

This past weekend, I have been attending South by Southwest, and my mind is thoroughly blown. I have done more virtual reality in three days than I have in the last 22 years of my life. I have never seen machines do specific actions. I have never seen people design products in the way they have done. 

This innovation and advancement have come from people working with other people. 

As I have gone to classes, I have met people and been able to learn what they do for their brands and companies. I can collaborate and work with other companies from this conference. 


A bunch of people showed up in Austin to just learn and teach. I have seen the power of networking and the connection between other humans. There is so much that I did not know was possible for me in my life. People have believed in me and have given hope in my future. This support is wonderful. I am very grateful for this opportunity to learn but also to see humans work together to create a better future.

Matthew Gattozzi with Instagrammer Jesse Driftwood

The most significant thing I see is the need to protect the human connection. Technology is moving and improving our lives, but we cannot lose our need for other humans or else, innovation will die. I talked last week about how humanity and technology intersect. In the same vein, I have been convinced this past week about human relationships and the importance of them. Being self-aware of our relationships and networks will be important in the future as technology grows. 

How I steward myself in my friendships with others has become evident in the last week- the good and the bad. Being intentional with others is essential. I am not good with confrontation, and I tend to be a people pleaser. Human connection that creates innovation does not come from being fake with people. It comes from raw conversations and understanding your limits or boundaries in those relationships. Finding balance with people is needed now and in the future. I have been thinking and writing about this a lot in the last few weeks because I have seen how I have messed up more than succeeded.

I will leave you with a story. A month ago, I was on Instagram, and I saw this girl shredding on the guitar. I commented on the video which led to a conversation about performing at South by Southwest. Today, I ended up meeting this band, Roses and Cigarettes, in person at a random guy's (A new friend) apartment in downtown and filmed a video for them. We had a fantastic conversation and real connection about art and reaching for dreams. The internet was the catalyst, but it was human beings seeking a real relationship to collaborate with one another that created this incredible experience. On the way back to my car, I stumbled upon one of my favorite Instagrammers on the street- Jesse Driftwood. This guy was genuine and willing to talk for like ten minutes on the sidewalk. To protect human connection, we must strive to seek it!

Matthew Gattozzi with Roses And Cigarettes Band in Austin for South by Southwest