Paws Up For Tech and Health
All paws on board for the health craze that has swept the nation!
Let’s face it, we are not nearly as invested in politics or classic literature as we used to be, but we have become increasingly interested in health and technology. Mental, physical, emotional, and even spiritual health are becoming increasingly popular among all generations.Young people want to maintain an image, older people want to live longer, and we now have ways to do that. So what better way to inform yourself of the things you can do to promote your health than take to the internet?
We have an increasingly large thirst for quick facts and stats. Just last March the U.S. budget for research spending increased for the first time in a decade. This is a big indicator on the rising popularity of medical research. The easier that statistics and information are to access and understand; the more we want it! Just think, every morning we wake up and check our phones for news on twitter, instagram, facebook etc. Why? Probably because you use it to keep up with what is happening in the lives of your friends, family, and any celebrities, companies, and even social justice platforms you may follow--and it’s just so easy. Social media has become the biggest platform for public and private information. You can go to twitter to learn about current events, and whatever your friends might be up to in the same place.
We learn about the lives of our friends old and new, and all the latest trends and fads, so why would we go any where different for our health and wellness news? According to this estimated report on newspaper circulation, in 1990 about 62 million daily newspapers were in circulation and by 2017 it had dropped to an estimated 30 million. This is just impact technology has had on the way we get information, it reaches us faster than ever and as technology continues to improve, our expectations only continue to rise. We want newer information every day, and while it may work that way for things like “Most Popular Pets in the U.S. that aren’t cats or dogs” it does not work that way in science. The truth is, information is no longer in print, and while this is not new the implications this has on our health and wellness news is a little more important.
The proof is in the pudding
Studies, research labs, and all kinds of experiments are being shared with us on a day to day basis, more quickly and more rushed than ever. But what does this result in? Mostly, decrease in the consistency and credibility of many popular medical and scientific research. For example, the ketogenic diet that has taken off since the beginning of 2019 has the backing of celebrities,doctors, and dieticians everywhere. Because of this, the number of people trying keto has soared! (And an increase in wellness research to prove it, such as this Harvard Article.) Not only is this a perfect representative of the bandwagon mentality, and the power of social media in our day but it does beg the question; does this surge of information and convenience with the promotion that we get from influencers to be healthier, and ‘cultured’ actually work?
We have become increasingly responsive to research. We make decisions based on what we see, who we trust, and quick Google searches. This has also created a radical difference between the life of the average person now compared to that of someone 10 years ago. The popular consensus is that younger generations are healthier simply because they choose to live better. But what about those who do not necessarily get to make those life changing, and life-bettering decisions because of a condition that is out of their control? What about the people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy or those who develop Alzheimers for example who aren’t given the same opportunities and options as everyone else? In an increasingly informed global society we should aim to be more aware not only of how we can help ourselves but of how we can help others.
This increase in information may have made us “lazier”, gullible or naive, but it has also made us more efficient, and self-aware of how we impact the world around us. More young workers are working for nonprofits and expanding their reach outside the U.S. (For example our bears at Bear Givers have reached children in Haiti and Peru!) Because of the ease of access to information and social media we see an increased spread in awareness of mental illness, disorders etc. and the availability to inform ourselves and connect to non-profits and their missions, has given us easier ways to make decisions on how we donate both our time and money.