The subculture trend of wisdom seekers
Information is ubiquitous in that all knowledge seems regurgitated and repurposed. Information finds us as long as we are connected to the internet.
Whether you are presenting sensitive information to stakeholders, having an intimate conversation with a loved one about your hopes and dreams, or perhaps praying to your maker about your fears, your mobile device is sure to listen in, surf the digital waves, and wash out a relevant post or ad on your feeds. The reality is information and knowledge are not wisdom.
People are no longer satisfied with only information but seeking wisdom. This is all about a deeper understanding of oneself and a connection to something greater.
We observed an emerging trend of “Wisdom Seekers” for the past 8 months and wanted a deeper understanding of this movement to allow us to see the bigger picture and how businesses can apply foresight intelligence.
We applied a qualitative research methodology, Netnography. The methods we used helped us to understand the branches of ethnography (The study of different cultures, habits, and behaviours on the internet). Like a bird on a branch, observing the lions and the zebras migrating to the new promised land.
What did we learn?
The data revealed an estimated 200 – 500 million people meditate globally.
Taking into consideration, these insights pertain to mind and body practices such as Yoga and Meditation and exclude other forms of meditation such as hiking. The highest participation in meditation is found among individuals between the ages of 45-65. In addition, women are twice as likely to meditate as men. In the past 10 years, meditation increased by 30%. (The Good Body,2022). If we look closer at hiking, the trend is growing in alignment with meditation. Hiking reached an all-time high in June 2020. The data revealed a steady growth of interest in hiking. In fact, hiking popularity surpasses meditation, which is evident in the peaks and troths of the reviewed data.
Meditating is a deeply personal inward journey to access your inner wisdom. Instead of connecting to digital WIFI, it is a means to communicate with oneself, your maker’s “WIFI,” and also a tool helped to develop your intuition. Carl Orff, a renowned German Composer born in 1895, once said: “Music begins inside human beings, and so must any instruction. Not at the instrument, not with the first finger, nor with the first position, not with this or that chord. The starting point is one’s own stillness. Listening to oneself. The ‘being ready for music.’ Listening to one’s own heartbeat and breathing.”
The state of being is all in the breath – this is evident. The data further revealed another sub-trend called holotropic breathing techniques. This breathwork technique can assist a person to achieve the same altered state of consciousness as a person using psychedelics, which is also gaining momentum.
Alarming rise of Panic Attacks and Social Anxiety
Meditation is not only a spiritual practice but also a tool used to cope with Anxiety and Depression; it is essential to look beyond the surface. Further investigation revealed a troubling reality. Depression and Anxiety are gradually increasing and reaching an all-time high, even in the post-pandemic era. Search terms such as “Anxiety Attacks,” “Panic Attacks,” and “Social Anxiety” is dominating the digital landscape. Many people are seeking ways to cope with the complexities of modern life and are finding themselves with limited bandwidth to handle what used to be deemed an everyday task. The data further suggested that people seek wisdom from online and offline communities.
One of the trending insights that emerged is the guidance from communities to place a significant emphasis on digital and mainstream media detox to avoid the doom scrolling and improve mental health. Simultaneously, the desire for a digital detox signifies the need for genuine connections and experiences in a technology-saturated world.
Social Anxiety, in particular, is concerning because it is a fear that impacts everyday activities, school, work, and relationships and strips a person of self-confidence. Although many people use meditation as a means of escapism, others use it as a coping mechanism. The community has become the backbone to empathize with and support individuals with mental health issues.
What does this mean for Business?
As marketers and communicators, we need to be the birds in the tree, observing the societal shift happening and asking ourselves how to integrate wisdom into our communication strategies because information obesity will not yield trust. It is all about foresight intelligence. How will businesses access consumers if they become emotionally and digitally unavailable?
What will be the wise thing to do?
- Content Strategy: Content strategies will require relevance, value, and foresight intelligence. It will become about substance, value, and quality.
- Stories that connect: To be acknowledged is your ability to be original and creative through storytelling. Stories always resonate.
- Community: Businesses need to become community builders. It is no longer about an email blast or social media community. It requires on-the-ground collaboration and participation (However, the intent needs to be pure). Wisdom seekers want pure intention; therefore, a business will be judged by its entire ecosystem, from grassroots to consumption.