Humans Back In Vogue

Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good – New York Times, 23 March 2019, Nellie Bowles

No Screen Status

“Life for anyone but the very rich — the physical experience of learning, living and dying — is increasingly mediated by screens.

Not only are screens themselves cheap to make, but they also make things cheaper. Any place that can fit a screen in (classrooms, hospitals, airports, restaurants) can cut costs. And any activity that can happen on a screen becomes cheaper. The texture of life, the tactile experience, is becoming smooth glass.

The rich do not live like this. The rich have grown afraid of screens. They want their children to play with blocks, and tech-free private schools are booming. Humans are more expensive, and rich people are willing and able to pay for them. Conspicuous human interaction — living without a phone for a day, quitting social networks and not answering email — has become a status symbol.”

Through the WI Lens

A few years ago, when Shiny New Things like iPhones and iPads were all the rage, the idea that people would consider using technology as an indicator of social deprivation might have seemed ludicrous. But it’s a sign of the dystopia tech has ushered in that this scenario has come to pass. This NYT article reports that, while poor communities are given on-screen avatars to comfort them and provide company, the rich are increasingly prepared to pay a premium for real human contact. Partly, that is perceptual: “Facebook is Facebook whether you are rich or poor”; and in part it is based on mounting evidence that time spent online is unhealthy. Kids who spend more than two hours a day looking at a screen get lower scores for thinking and language; so naturally, wealthier parents pay to send their children to schools where they get a screen-free education.

Growing reliance on technology to deliver social care seems inevitable given the demographic shift towards an ageing population; and technology is sure to play a key role in delivering education and other services because of its low cost and efficiency. But it can’t fully replace human contact; while the value attached to ‘human’ experiences such as personal massage is only set to grow, wellness services in future will need to have a human element to deliver the wellbeing people seek.

Gut Feelings

April 16, 2019

Could Therapy Be Key To Treating Your IBS? – Huffington Post, 11 April 2019, Natasha Hinde

Radicalise Movement

April 2, 2019

Sitting down for too long may be causing 70,000 UK deaths a year – The Guardian, 26 March 2019, Nicola Davis

Humans Back In Vogue

March 26, 2019

Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good – New York Times, 23 March 2019, Nellie Bowles

Sickness to Debt to Sickness

March 19, 2019

Americans Are Going Bankrupt From Getting Sick, The Atlantic, 15 March 2019, Olga Khazan

On The Money

March 12, 2019

Why the future of well-being isn’t about money, 26 Feb 2019, Justin Dupuis

Bread Culture

March 5, 2019

With bread’s return to favor in the wellness world, consumers are ritualizing the baking process as an opportunity to slow down. JWT Intelligence, 28 February 2019, Emily Safian-Demers

Ikea Purity

February 26, 2019

Ikea’s new curtains purify the air inside your house – Fast Company, 20 Feb 2019, Jesus Diaz


February 19, 2019

Insectageddon – Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next – Guardian 12 February 2019 – Molly Scott Cato

Goop, Delta, Netflix

February 12, 2019

Goop Enters Netflix Deal: Has Pseudoscience Found A New Platform? Forbes, 9 Feb 2019, Bruce Y. Lee

Race Ready Workplace

February 5, 2019

5 ways work culture will change by 2030, Fast Company, February 4th 2019 Gwen Moran

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