Our Feelings are the Newest Trend
You or your parents might have grown up in a household where certain rules were set in place and where your feelings, frankly, didn’t matter. Expressing our feelings in the past was frowned upon, and, maybe, even taboo. Yet, as the world kept on spinning, and our environments evolved around us, our feelings became more and more important. You can even say that nowadays our feelings are trending.
Our Feelings are no Longer Taboo
In a world dictated by technology and Artificial Intelligence, it’s now become crucial to keep in touch with our feelings. A tech-savvy world has left us anxious and craving human interaction. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are one of the main mental disorders in America, affecting 40 million people. With millennials said to be one of the generations suffering the most from anxiety, it’s important to look into technology, and social media more specifically as a possible cause.
Ironically, social media has also become a platform to draw attention to one’s suffering and anxiety, as well as become a platform to spread activism. In a generation taken over by a pandemic, racism, environmental issues, climate change, impending economic crises; and a world where our data is no longer personal but where social media is king, we’re seeing reports of anxiety more than ever.
Businesses are becoming aware of our feelings and are trying to cater to, support, and monetise our feelings. We explore four key ways in which businesses are using the feelings trend in today’s world.
Products and services are now deliberately associating themselves with emotional values and trying to cater to this spectrum. Anxiety has almost become a catchphrase, as the awareness of anxiety has become more and more accepted. With such high levels of anxiety being reported by mental disorder associations, it’s no wonder that we have created a whole industry surrounding anxiety. In order to respond to this, brands and start-ups are finding their way into this so-called industry, releasing products such as a therapeutic weighted blanket, wellness holidays, colouring books for adults, and fidget rings.
Identification, Understanding and Support
If it’s not a product to comfort people suffering from mental disorders such as anxiety, it’s the growth of organisation empathising and supporting struggling businesses, with the break out of social media fundraisers, crowdfunding platforms, websites that support small businesses and aid the creative arts. Whether it’s a charitable cause you want to raise money for, a business project you want to get off the ground, or gather support for an artistic calling, the online world is becoming more and more supportive.
Connecting with our Mood
Our feelings and our moods are now also embedded into the products we buy. You can now set off to work and have your car set with the ambient lighting to suit your mood, listen to a playlist that best vibes with your feelings on the way there, wearing a ring that changes colour according to your aura. Personalisation is a prominent feature in today’s branding.
Misinformation and false reports, unrealistic standards, influencer culture, body and face editing apps, unattainable expectations, oversharing, and reality-thwarting filters are just some of the pressures put on individuals using social media. With their phones hardly out of their hands, this generation has developed an addiction unique to its environment, and the pressure is constant. As a response, social media platforms are trying to adapt to this. Some platforms review posts or allow you to report anything offensive or cruelty related. Others are looking into hiding ‘likes’ so that the users don’t feel pressure to reach a target.
Start-ups are now developing business plans structured around our feelings, and consumers are following through.