In this series of articles, we look at our brand guidelines to explain the meaning behind our philosophy. Today, we look at our language – the words we like, and the words we avoid.
Collective vs alone.
Here in the UK, we live in a rather individualistic society. According to some global studies, up to 30% of people feel lonely. Fighting social isolation becomes a topic of many charitable initiatives. In the meantime, when we refer to digital tools instead of thinking about the collective, we often focus on unhealthy comparison to others, fear of missing out (FOMO), crowded online spaces and bullying instead. We worry about echo chambers and algorithms too. All of those worries are entirely relevant, but we still focus on the negative aspects primarily. At Voxel Hub, we want to start the conversation with the power of connection fostered through the new tools. We want to explore the idea of using tech to reconnect with our trusted networks – friends, distant family, people sharing our interests. In the world of mental health, collective support is crucial to recovery, hence why this is our starting point too. Being or feeling alone can lead to sadness, even depression. Some meta-studies of the language used in social media networks by people experiencing depression indicated that the word “alone” was the most popular. We will be examining individual needs and experiences, of course. However, to remind ourselves about the systemic nature of wellbeing, we will start with the word “collective.”
Healthy vs toxic/detox.
We can talk about toxic relationships, but we can also consider them unhealthy. The word toxic is very medical and implies institutional support, whereas our focus is on the human and the relational support of your digital wellbeing. We prefer to support healthy habits than the common prescription of complete digital detox, which tends to lead to more overwhelm and stress long -term.
Engage/reconnect vs disconnect.
To follow up from the previous two points. We hope to focus on the idea of active engagement and the process of your digital wellbeing (we think it’s a process, not a static state). We prefer to explore your opportunities to reconnect with your own self and your support networks with the help of digital technologies over the idea of complete disconnection.
Open vs scared/limiting.
We will talk about opening up to new experiences. We will do our best to normalise vulnerability so that we don’t have to feel any. So, we don’t have to feel alone and scared but connected and supported. In positive psychology, negative feelings limit our perception, while positive experiences widen our ability to notice subtle, but significant moments of joy and connection.
Passion vs hobby/addiction.
We aim to celebrate play, fun and enjoyment of interests people share online. We hope to use the word “addiction” only in its clinical context and sparingly too, mainly because it is heavily overused and misinterpreted by mainstream media. When possible, we will focus on passions, not hobbies to stress the positive intent of fun and joy described in positive psychology as the flow.
Resilient vs rigid/vulnerable.
We aim to promote the idea of resilience as an active process of cultivation of positive habits. We understand that digital technologies can be challenging. They can make us feel vulnerable. However, we need to safely move out of our rigid views towards flexibility an active exploration of habits that make us feel safer and more resilient.
Resist vs oppose/in conflict.
We have experienced, especially in the new, more biased digital spaces, the notion of active conflict of opposing views. We will promote the idea of steadiness and resilience as an alternative to conflict and an opportunity for fruitful resolution, with multiple perspectives instead of polarised opinions.
Thrive vs OK/suffer.
After centuries of studies of mental health illness, we now start to have an insight into what makes people feel better than just OK. We will explore the findings of positive psychology for better digital wellbeing. We will focus on getting better, but also on thriving and cultivating a life where digital technologies support our good habits too.
Language is essential to good digital wellbeing. A generation of young people grew up in reality with a very negative sentiment of communication, both in the digital and mental health industry. We aim to examine the way we speak about those areas of our lives and model, a more balanced perspective. We would love to know what else you would like to include on our list.