Are You Increasing America’s Anxiety?

The United States is no longer Prozac nation; now we’re Xanax Nation. Anxiety is the new depression, baby!

Sad, but true.

Today, 40 million Americans are afflicted with anxiety disorders. And according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 38% of girls ages 13 through 17, and 26% of boys, have an anxiety disorder.

The numbers are alarming, and, unfortunately, growing.

Many studies have linked online culture and anxiety. The more time spent online, the more likely one is to be anxious.

Studies have also shown that the more time a person spends on social media, the more likely he or she is to feel lonely and disappointed. Our lives seem inferior compared to our Facebook friends who curate posts of their idyllic, joy-filled lives––
“Jeff got a fabulous promotion, but we’re going to be paying so much more in taxes now that his salary was tripled.”
“Amanda is torn between majoring in nuclear physics or neurosurgery. So much pressure for an eight-year-old. She’s has begun studying for her SATs! We’re so proud.”
“My eternal love for my wonderfully terrific family has won a humanitarian award from the Mother Theresa Society. Sure, it’s a great honor, but it’s also one more darn trophy to dust. Jeesh!”

The bottom line: they’re winning!

And you? You’re a mess. A lonely, anxious, hot mess.

People cannot live fulfilled lives connected virtually. As the great philosopher, Barbara Streisand said, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” And we all do much better with human interaction.

In fact, studies have shown rich personal relationships enhance our happiness, our health, and increase our longevity.

Not social media. Social-social.

So, what’s this have to do with marketing in the Twenty-First Century? Everything.

If people are stressed and anxious and crave human interaction, what are you as a marketer doing to help them? Are you empathetic to the people you’re trying to talk with?

Are your messages adding to their anxiety, or are they offering relief from the pressures of life?

Are you giving people an emotional reward, or trying to pack their bags for a guilt trip, or, insulting their intelligence?

You may say society’s ills are not your responsibility. Maybe so, but by working to improve their health, you may find many more customers and loyal fans, improving your brand’s health.

You also may find yourself feeling better about your work.

And much less anxious.