Social Design Fiction - OCEAN tonic
We were asked to create Black Mirror style social fictions that looked into a problem in society. We looked at the way people modify their body in order to gain likes on social media, which led us to formulate our fiction around a drink that contains nano bots designed to cause specific brain alterations that change the personality of the consumer to make them more likeable for social media channels. You can see our informational video below as well as the website we built and branding we designed.
Michael Foster, is a robotics engineer and founder of Connectome who was involved in a serious car crash in which he received a complicated brain injury to the frontal lobe. He was in a medically induced coma for 3 weeks after the accident, and doctors were unsure how much of the old Michael would remain by the time he woke up. What gradually emerged as he recovered, was that the injury had in fact transformed his personality for the better.
Among the effects were, more success in relationships, networking situations and improved charisma. As he dug deeper, he discovered that this was not an isolated occurrence. In fact; A team, led by psychologist Marcie King at the University of Iowa, found that out of 97 previously healthy patients who had suffered permanent damage to a specific area of their brains, 22 of them showed positive personality changes afterwards.This information created a spark that led him to question, ‘what makes a person likeable?’
While each of us has a unique personality, psychologists unanimously say, there are five basic dimensions that can be used to characterize a person.These traits are; Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (OCEAN). The Big Five Personality Traits model is based on findings from several independent researchers, and it dates back to the late 1950s. It is considered to be an accurate and respected personality scale, which is routinely used by businesses and in psychological research. Cambridge Analytica famously used the OCEAN model in their Facebook profiling surveys.
Our aim is to bring the positive effects of altering the balance of those five traits to others, in a safe accessible way. This is what drove the formation of Connectome and together with our team of scientists, we were able to replicate those positive neurological changes Michael experienced using nanobot technology and develop the OCEAN tonic -the drink that offers personality in a bottle.