The term “Lifeline” was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his famous article, The Case of Miss R. in 1930. According to this concept, there are seven basic elements of a human being: the physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and the self-respect. These elements form the foundation of a human’s behavior, orientation, values, interests, behaviors, and personality.
Lifestyle is an essential part of the individual psyche. In his article, The Case of Miss R, Alfred Adler presented the meaning of the word lifestyle as “the habits, attitudes, and behaviors of an isolated and self-contained person”. He further explained that this concept is not exclusive to the domain of interpersonal communication and social interaction, but also encompasses those behaviors which are not based on interpersonal interactions. For instance, Adler suggested that the meaning of LIFESTYLE should be used to specify any condition in which an individual is satisfied with his or her environment and is capable of living without external intervention. According to Adler, this particular definition is a more accurate reflection of true human life since it is impossible to define LIFESTYLE without understanding the human individual’s relationship with the world and other people.
In addition, Adler believed that the meaning of LIFESTYLE should include any state in which an individual is in complete control and is in charge of his or her own behaviour and the quality of that behaviour. As an example, he cited the work of British sociologist Peteronson who claimed that the definition of LIFESTYLE should also include any condition in which an individual is in possession of complete power over his or her actions. He further added that this power can be manifested in different ways and can be exercised in various contexts.
According to Adler, LIFESTYLE should be used as a tool to help participants identify their relationships to the external environment and to other individuals and to the environments they interact with. It should also facilitate the ability for users to change and manage these relationships. Adler believes that this concept can be applied to various aspects of contemporary life in the fields of business, marketing, advertising, fashion and so on. He noted that many businesses had failed because they had not taken the time to fully research and understand social media, Knoll and LIFESTYLE before deciding to launch a campaign, and were instead relying on “gut feelings and personal experiences”. He cited examples such as the American band Green Day who “ended up on their knees in front of the cameras in a video” due to a YouTube clip that received a negative response from one member, leading the band to lose several promotions and a few fans.
The Knoll is a website where people can go and create a profile. The idea was originally started by the creative director at Yahoo! Answers (a site where people can ask questions) in order to encourage more interaction within communities and answer questions that are often oversimplified in marketing communications and other types of mass media. As it evolved, the idea was later picked up by the New York Times, and then featured in the book New York Times Bestseller Be Your Own Boss: A roadmap to Creating a Successful Work Life by Stephen R. Covey (which happens to be my favorite book ever!) and then later made available on the Knoll.
The basic premise of LIFESTYLE is to provide a social network for the masses to connect on a more personal level. It’s not entirely new in the field of networking, having been used in similar applications (such as Facebook), however it differs in the way the content is delivered. The goal of LIFESTYLE is to help participants discover who they really are and become more connected. For this reason, many users have compared it to a Yahoo! Answers focus group, only instead of asking questions, individuals exchange “retsions” and stories about their lives.