Wellbeing is Not an App

During the last several years, more and more ‘health’ apps have been popping up everywhere. In 2023, these apps alone generated almost US $ 3.5 billion.

Not a day goes by without someone offering to build us an app, or asking our digital strategy or wanting to know how we will be integrating AI in our business.

Now I don’t believe I’m that old-fashioned. I am one of the first in my family to have used “AI-apps” as information filters, but I feel a visceral response every time someone wants to turn even a part of what we do into an autonomous digital intervention.

Apps are tools. Tools in unskilled hands can be gargantuanly destructive.

Wellbeing is not an app.

Spending time in a space created to improve wellbeing cannot be replicated with an app.

Technology is not up to mimicking being with people whose very calling it is to improve the health and wellbeing of those around them.

There is no way an app can be proxy for a sauna, a splash in a cold pool, healing hands and the deep connection of open humanity.

Being in actual nature is not equal to anything simulated in an app. Nature is far too complex. Nature’s immense intricacy will seem imperfect to an app built on the ‘sunshine and rainbows’ version of nature humans want to believe in.

An app is unable to reconstruct nutritious food. Nutrition is enormously diverse and surprisingly particular.

The fact is that we know painfully little about how anything works, and I find it disheartening that we think we can summarize any part of the human experience in an app.

We have intense debates about how the universe came into being and still argue about dark matter and the make-up of atoms.

No one truly knows what makes you you. I am in awe of this and, hopefully, so are you.

Be real with yourself and those around you. Challenge yourself, laugh at yourself, learn about yourself and the world, forgive yourself and others, be kind to yourself. And then, when you need help, reach out to those willing to be real with you

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