The pandemic has pushed our relationship with technology to new extremes. As a result, people are recognising that the way they use the internet, and social media, can leave them feeling overwhelmed. Concerns about the impact of screen time have been pushed aside to fulfil daily tasks and roles – be it in work, education, entertainment or self-enhancement.
Focusing on India, this paper explores the different aspects of digitalisation and the fast-paced nature of modern society engulfing people emotionally. We also touch upon the coping mechanisms and means to deal with this, highlighting examples of brands that are addressing this precise consumer need.
- Digital connectivity is a double-edged sword: During the pandemic, digital connectivity has helped people across the world to lead a life seamlessly without stepping outside of their home. People remain connected at work, with family and friends, with the education system, and are buying groceries and paying bills online. Hence, we are connected on multiple levels but, at the same time, disconnected on a human level. Culturally, the focus in India is on sharing and caring for each other and living in a community. Though the digital world can bring us together, we miss real life contact.
- The impact of Covid-19: When mobility is restricted, different groups can feel overwhelmed for various reasons. For example, children are caught in a vacuum of trying to adjust to online/distance learning and being isolated from their friends. For working adults, there are financial worries about jobs and income, with the lack of certainty about what lies ahead adding to their anxiety. Findings from a recent Ipsos study show that mental health remains a key health concern for the public and is ranked 3rd overall after coronavirus and cancer.
- Bigger is not necessarily better anymore: The hectic pace and pressure of modern life can cause stress and anxiety, but Indians are now consciously taking steps to slow down and manage life efficiently. Mindfulness and meditation apps are also seeing a surge in demand and are aimed at helping increase focus and patience while reducing stress.
- Brands are capitalising on the trend of slowing down: Awareness of mental wellbeing is higher than ever. Brands are consciously talking about mental wellbeing, either through providing platforms that offer curated content designed to manage moods, or campaigns that focus on mental wellbeing. Although wellness has long been an integral part of Indian culture, Indian consumers are more conscious than ever of the importance of mental health in their overall wellbeing.