PSFK the innovation and trend group lead by Piers Fawkes posted a fascinating concept on their blog in December. They posted on  “Real” and “Unreal” time. The author suggested many people these days are faced with so much real-time information that we now seek stories to help us make sense of all this new information. When we do this we are entering the so-called unreal time. This is a time and place where the constraints of natural physical laws do not exist. Time doesn’t have to march to its normal constant drum beat and becomes more flexible.

So it seems that we have a need to make sense of the world both in real-time and unreal-time, where we are more in control. It could be that stories are the ferry that enables us to  cross from one place to another. Maybe this is why we say,stories “transport” us to another place.  I guess this could be another example of right and left brain thinking which all of us use. Right brain activities may control the real world while the left dominated in the Unreal-time. Spending too much time communicating in either time scheme could be a source of frustration to your customers.

The problem today is that we are now able to get access to data and information in real-time. News is “pushed” to us every minute. We can analyse data on the go and this constant demand access is attractive but without context or story might not transport or inspire your customers. I think this is a really good alarm bell that teaches us to continue to balance out our communications and help our audiences take meaning from them. While  your engaging your customers in Real time don’t forget to allow them to visit the Unreal time with your brand stories.