Posted on Jan 22, 2019 #recent
Technology changes all the time; human nature, hardly ever. - Evgeny Morozov
Habit is habit, and not to be flung out the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. -Mark Twain
Do you have a tracker installed on your phone to tell you how often you’re on it? Or maybe one of those nifty apps that locks your phone after a specified time? Generally, we all know that the excessive time spent on the phone or the computer looking at glamorous travel photos or fancy yoga poses isn’t exactly great for our mental health.
But what if it’s not screen-time but more of how we engage with our technology? Instead of fighting the ever-developing dependency we have on our devices, what if we join forces? It seems that might be the current of change happening right now on the tech scene.
According to TechCrunch, mental well-being took “center-stage” at the 2019 International Consumer Electronic Show (CES), the biggest event for tech companies to showcase new developments and future products. Evolving from the fitness app and wearables of last year, this mental wellness focus seems to make sense.
Is it that easy? Can we just turn on an app and download mental health?
While technology is helpful, an algorithm is not going to guarantee we get the result we are seeking especially when we are dealing with our all too-human ambivalence and inertia - two biggest impediments to meaningful change.
An app or technology might notify us or even nudge but it cannot help us overcome the ambivalence each of us encounter when trying to wake up in the morning for an exercise session or when we try to decide between going for a run or just lounging around. To make real, long-lasting change we need to form new habits. Behavioural Change theories consistently cite continuing motivation as the key factor to successful habit formation.
When building a new habit, a human connection can help overcome ambivalence and inertia and can be the difference between success or stalling. This is why people who can afford it, hire personal trainers and coaches. It’s easy to ignore your app and do something else. But - if you know someone is waiting for you, ready to help you keep going, wouldn't you be more inclined to keep at it?
To truly unleash the power of technology that helps us build healthier and happier habits, we need to make sure the human connection is a part of the solution. Just as Yoga is a union of mind and body, what is needed is a union of technology that provides ease of use and our very human capacity of building connection, helping each other and making changes.
We are looking forward to all the innovations in the space and are excited to be a part of the landscape.
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