With each passing day, apps are becoming an inseparable part of our lives. We depend on them for everything from news, to reminding us of when its time to drink our next glass of water. We have apps for social media platforms, music, news, counting calories, playing games, and whatnot. Lately, meditation and calming apps also called Stress Relief apps have grown very popular.
Just in December, Apple declared an app "Calm" as its iPhone app of the year. A free app, with subscription options, that uses mindfulness training and meditation to lower stress and anxiety. It gives you tasks like staring at raindrops for fifteen seconds and doing nothing.
People are turning to their smartphones to find solace.
It seems like a very obvious course of events, considering how hectic and stressful our lives are. So now, just like you have a dietitian on your smartphone, to advice you what you are to eat for your every meal, you have an app which helps you find inner peace.
This also showcases, how we are becoming increasingly dependent on our smartphones for everything like ordering food, booking hotels, or tracking periods. It amuses me, of how we were actually able to get anything done, without the constant presence of apps in our lives, five or ten years ago. Now it seems impossible to find a good restaurant to eat without the phone. Or fitness becomes cumbersome without the numerous apps which monitor our calorie intake and workout. We would rather watch Zumba lessons on YouTube, than go out to attend one.
Though most of these stress relief apps are marketed as free apps, they have in-app charges for specific or detailed services.
For example, an app which monitors your calories is free. But if you want to avail the services of a dietitian who will work on your diet, then you have to shell out some money.
However, our generation is not bothered about such baits. For us, it’s the constraint of time and space, which makes us turn to these stress relief apps. After long commuting hours and tiring work hours, no one feels like changing into yoga pants, and going to a yoga class.
Also, there is a large chunk of the population, which is just obsessed with apps. If you give them a choice between an instructor who will come to take lessons at home according to their convenience, or an app, they will always choose the app.
So are we obsessed with apps? Or do we use most of these lifestyle apps in a bid to look cool and happening? Or maybe these apps do make our lives easier.
The only advantage of these apps is that we can use them anywhere and anytime. The disadvantage, however, is that the guidance stress relief apps provide, is generic. Something which can be applied to a large chunk of the population. Again, for customised guidance, the user needs to pay them a fee. How beneficial are they, is another question.
The presence of a physical teacher or instructor or guide in our life, brings us a customised solution to our individual problems. Slowly this realisation will dawn on many, and they might go back to Yoga and meditation classes.
Apps are designed to make our lives convenient. It is a challenge for developers to find new ways, they can make our smartphones more useful to us. But in that quest, we are becoming increasingly dependent on our smartphones.
Pic credits: Kozmy
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Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.