Many of us in the modern world often ask ourselves the question, so how to survive in the digital world? Always be in touch is the motto of a modern person, which sets the rhythm of life, almost excluding rest and relaxation. Life at high speeds makes increased demands on the body: first of all, on perception, response, speed of decision-making. The stressful nature of the external environment creates a demand for a healthy lifestyle, a trend for wellbeing, and brands cannot but react to this new trend.
Technology is a source of both well-being and stress
Recently, technological progress is increasingly associated with the development of artificial intelligence. On the one hand, it is predicted that the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and their constant complication will lead to a significant increase in the well-being of humanity, because robots will take on most of the routine functions and will perform them quickly, error-free and at a lower cost.
On the other hand, the development of technology and AI will contribute to a significant increase in life expectancy and an extension of the active phase of life in the near future. Recent advances in biotechnology and molecular genetics give confidence that many diseases can be cured or even prevented.
But speaking of the benefits, it is impossible to turn a blind eye to the threats posed by technological progress.
Electronic devices operate at speeds that a person never dreamed of, technology is changing at a pace that is difficult for a person to keep up with, and there are already more mobile devices connected to the Internet than there are people on the planet. The brain is not adapted to such a flow of information that we receive almost around the clock with a short break for a night’s sleep.
All this happens thanks to the formed habit of being always in touch, without breaks and weekends. We blur the boundaries between different spheres of life, personal or professional, thanks to the fact that our assistant smartphone contains all the options for connecting to different spheres at the same time, so that you barely have time to switch from one context to another.
As a result, the brain almost never enters the “rest” mode and always functions in the format of active inclusion in the external world. You should also add uncertainty, variability of context, the need to quickly make complex decisions. All this creates the load on the psyche that is not characteristic of humans – let’s not forget that the brain of Homo Sapience was formed in the era of hunters and gatherers, and at the genetic level we still have the same tool for cognitive activity, despite the fact that living conditions have changed dramatically.
As a result, a conflict is formed between the natural abilities of the human body and the new world of super-high-speed artificial systems.
A healthy lifestyle is not a fashion, but a way of survive in the digital world
In response to the stressfulness of the outside world, a request for physical and mental well-being or wellbeing is formed. It is reflected in the fact that people are looking for activities, products, services that help them find inner balance, achieve well-being, despite being busy and fast paced life. This need is not at all a tribute to fashion, it is a way of surviving in a complex world. According to the GfK Consumer Life study (a study on the life of consumers around the world, a survey of 26 thousand respondents in 22 countries of the world), from 2014 to 2017, there has been a consistent increase in the number of people in the world who say that they are trying to maintain a balance between work and leisure (from 45% in 2014 to 50% in 2017), are actively looking for products and services to maintain a healthy lifestyle (from 41% to 44% in 4 years). And an increase in overall anxiety is indicated by the increasing percentage of people who report constant security concerns (from 34% in 2014 to 41% in 2017).
Anxiety on the one hand and the desire to find balance on the other – as a result, there is a growing demand for a healthy lifestyle, but not the kind of healthy lifestyle that implies grueling exercise and dieting to achieve target weight, as a result of which you can experience even more stress. Now the need is being formed to achieve a harmonious state of mind and body, which will allow one to survive in the crazy rhythm of a rapidly changing world. The desire for harmony as a counterbalance to stress can also be traced in a greater desire to live in harmony with nature (47% in 2014 versus 52% in 2017).
The causes of stress are lack of: money, time, health, safety…
What worries a person the most? In the study, respondents were asked to note the reasons that cause stress in their lives. The most common factors cited by most as stressors are lack of money; the pressure that people put on themselves; health and lack of sleep.
The modern context increasingly stimulates the activity and multitasking of a person, the desire to do everything. But the flip side of the coin is more and more pressure, lack of time even for physiologically important processes like sleep. As a result, health concerns have grown the most among major causes of stress over the past three years (+9 pp since 2015). Thus, we risk paying with physical and mental well-being for technical progress and an ultra-fast pace of life.
Anxieties about external threats have grown significantly over the past three years. The world is seen more and more unsafe in terms of crime and threats from the outside world associated with disasters and other factors beyond our control – more than 50% began to name them among the causes of stress.
It is symptomatic that in 2015, almost every third (29%) did not mark any of the mentioned factors as a serious cause of stress, and in 2017 only 8% did not mention these reasons. It is obvious that the number of stressors in the world is growing, and without proper adaptation to the modern context, we will have more and more reasons to experience health and mental well-being problems.
How to deal with stress? Mindfulness, relaxation and the digital diet
Obviously, the need for well-being and the demand for a healthy lifestyle are developing against the background of the increasing complexity of the outside world. Each person consciously or intuitively seeks means to get rid of stress and more and more practices those activities that help to cope with a difficult external environment.
In the Consumer Life study, respondents were asked to answer a question about activities that help them maintain health. In fact, most people are aware that healthy food, adequate sleep, physical activity, and leisure with loved ones are the basis of well-being, so more than half of those surveyed report on these types of health maintenance.
However, in recent years, a growing number of people are mentioning more specific methods of maintaining physical and mental well-being. There is an increase in the number of people who make it a rule to disconnect from the Internet and turn off electronic devices in order to restore balance (from 22% in 2014 to 37% in 2017), in addition, the number of people who practice meditation and other techniques has grown significantly in the world. relaxation (from 17% in 2014 to 28% in 2017).
It can be assumed that the growth in the popularity of meditation is associated both with the fascination with Eastern spiritual practices (yoga, Buddhism) and with the spread of mindfulness-based-stress reduction (MBSR) practices, which are secular in nature, but have absorbed some ideas of spiritual practices. Interest in the Eastern holistic approach to treatment and prevention is also evident in the growing popularity of herbal treatments and other alternative methods.
IT companies, with whose participation we all found ourselves in a “digital” addiction, are actively involved in supporting the wellbeing trend and offer their services to maintain health. Google recently announced a Digital Wellbeing initiative that helps control a person’s digital life. The idea of the service is to change the lifestyle and switch to a more gentle mode of using the Internet and electronic devices. To this end, Android, with the help of applications and services, will help its consumers control the time of using gadgets through monitoring digital activity, as well as set targets for the time for using applications.
Apple does not stand aside and has also actively participated in supporting the wellbeing trend by promoting the Health app, which helps monitor health and lifestyle indicators: the app structure contains 4 main blocks – activity, mindfulness, nutrition and sleep, each of which contains a key message like “Calm down. Relax. Feel the moment ”or“ Sit less. Move more. Go in for fitness. “
Initiatives like these from idol brands can have a real impact on behavioral change and reduce the harm from over-digitizing life. It is often these initiatives that help many to survive in the digital world in our time.
Wellbeing trend and wellbeing marketing
The modern world – this is great opportunities to survive in the digital world, but and threats to humans. Thanks to access to information, variety of products and services, human life becomes more interesting, enriched with experience and knowledge. The external context is rapidly transforming, forcing to change behavior, be flexible, make difficult decisions quickly and often. These challenges require skills to resist stress and adapt the body to constant changes. The wellbeing trend is born as a response to modern challenges and is of a long-term nature, influencing the behavior and lifestyle of people.
How to use the wellbeing trend?
- If you make informed decisions in your personal life, you need to develop your own recipes for “wellbeing”, the system that will create the basis for physical and mental well-being, allowing you to remain effective and healthy at the same time.
- From a marketing perspective, the wellbeing trend stimulates ideas for the development of products and services that help a person achieve physical and mental well-being while being active and versatile.
- In the corporate culture, supporting a healthy lifestyle and providing employees with activities and services in this area helps both to increase labor efficiency and increase staff loyalty and involvement.
- Communication and popularization of ideas of physical and mental well-being, as well as the development of products and services to maintain health, which can be summed up in the term “marketing of well-being”, is a successful strategy for individuals and socially responsible business.