Society at large perceives that a big part of someone's success is determined by how quickly they are able to digest lots of information, including, but not limited to new names, social media content, life and work processes, software, passwords and responsibilities etc. When our brains are overloaded with too much data from the outside world, we can struggle to absorb, process, and make sense of it — hampering our ability to make smart decisions and perform at our best.
From overload to underload
It is no surprise then that as people’s attention spans drop from an average of 12 seconds to 8 seconds since 2000, according to Microsoft, a new era in mental health is emerging — the curator economy. Over the coming years, as the level of data and information continues to rise in magnitude and intensity, consumers will increasingly turn to products and services that enable them to select, find and cut down to show what really matters most to them most.
“Over the past fifty years...curation has (had) a performative or service role; how it is directed out, towards an audience. Now we reach the limits of this interpretation, the frontier of curation: ourselves”, writes author Michael Bhasker in Curation: The power of selection in a world of excess. This marks not only a further shift in what it means to curate, but also a change in how we relate to our lives.
Saturated with information overload and an excessive range of parameters for decision making, people will increasingly struggle to grasp what they want and why they want it. Our choices define us, and our wellbeing is dependent on the ability to exercise choices, but too much choice backfires. “The feeling of choice, rather than its reality, is what we want”, says Bhasker.
New innovations are being built to help people sift through the information age, organizing ideas instead of producing them. After a year of helping small businesses navigate sales and operations during the global pandemic, with April 2021 revenue up 700 percent over the year prior, Curate has raised a €1.25 million seed to continue developing its modern sales and operations platform for florists, caterers and other creative businesses. “Sitting at the kitchen table, we realized that all of these spreadsheets and lists should be talking to each other,” says Curate founder Ryan O’Neil. “We started building a tool for ours and other florist businesses, but then started having catering companies ask us for software.”
Meanwhile, the professional environment is increasingly being curated so that workers can identify a more enjoyable way of working. Indeed, once people find order in their work life, they feel empowered to find confidence, energy and motivation to create the career they want and move on from negative working practices. In the book Joy at Work, KonMari method pioneer Marie Kondo and organizational psychologist Scott Sonenshein help people to refocus their mind on what's important at work.
Curation is also making its way into hyperlocal retail concepts as the desire to shop in local neighborhoods is becoming more pronounced around the world. During this inter-Covid period, Accenture reports that 79% of global consumers plan to continue shopping in neighborhood stores. In China, Alibaba’s Freshippo grocery stores differ depending on local consumer income or dietary demands. Its Farmers’ Markets cater for more price-sensitive consumers living on the outskirts of top-tier cities, while in lower-tier cities Freshippo’s Mini store format is a tenth of the size of its regular outlets, and can be quickly set up to provide fast access to quality produce.
Curator Culture is one of the 5 Self-Care Trends for 2022 identified by visithalongbay and Tom Savigar, founder of Avansere, to offer what we all need most at this unique time: new rituals and habits to take wellbeing and happiness into our own hands.
Check the other 4 trends:
Mindlessness Rising: the renaissance in reflective and mindless pursuits to elevate creativity, ingenuity and lifelong learning.
Movertainment: exercise as a form of entertainment and escapism.
Meditative Design: demystifying personal development and encouraging positive moods.
Restful Realities: new solutions for one of the most neglected aspects of wellbeing – sleep.
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