SXSW 2024

The Paradox of Loneliness and Technology


Technology connects us more than ever, yet one in five still feels lonely, including 37% of older adults and 61% of young adults. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has issued a loneliness health advisory, equating social disconnection to the risks of smoking 15 cigarettes/day. In this live The Next Great Thing podcast recording, leaders from Headspace, Rendever, and GIF Keyboard will unravel the complex relationship between tech, connection, and loneliness. We’ll explore it from multiple angles: communication, mindfulness and mental health awareness, habit building, and social isolation.

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  1. How can we lean on technology to build a more compassionate society while mitigating the unintended consequences on our mental health?
  2. Is it possible to avoid isolating ourselves while at the same time using technology to find deep human connection and meaning?
  3. What are the challenges and opportunities to use new technology, like generative AI, to create mental health-minded digital products and experiences?


  • Andrew Greenstein, CEO and Head of Product | Host of The Next Great Thing Podcast, SF AppWorks
  • Leslie Witt, Chief Product and Design Officer, Headspace
  • Kyle Rand, Co-Founder & CEO, Rendever
  • Erick Hachenburg, Founder, Tenor


Kristen Sills, Owner, Whole Nuther Level

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Podcast
  • Track: Tech Industry
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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