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Culture Personal Development Technology

Astronauts In The Ocean

Do you ever hear a song that you can’t get out of your head?

The latest for me is Astronaut in the Ocean by Masked Wolf.

The chorus goes like this:

What you know about rolling down in the deep?
When your brain goes numb, you can call that mental freeze
When these people talk too much, put that shit in slow motion, yeah
I feel like an astronaut in the ocean, ay

I think the song is about depression. The Masked Wolf describes the title, “Astronaut In The Ocean” as being out of place. The Masked Wolf said, “for me it was about knowing i was on a journey like an astronaut but I wasn’t where I wanted to be… I wanted to be in space… I wanted to do what astronauts do…”

Every time I hear that line, “I feel like an astronaut in the ocean,” I can’t help put think of an article from Cathy Hackl about space marketing. In it, she talks about the international space station under the sea. Aquanaut, Fabien Cousteau, plans to build an underwater International Ocean Space Station in Curaçao. The station, named Proteus, will be about 4,000 square feet.

Masked Wolf says that the music video for Astronaut in the Ocean takes place in space because he feels like he made it. He’s no longer under water. But as Hackl’s space marketing article points out, monsters can come from interdimensional portals in the bottom of the ocean. Kaiju, The Meg, even Godzilla and Kong all come from mysterious portals at the bottom of the ocean.

According to Ocean Exploration and Research, “less than 20% of the global seafloor had been mapped with modern high-resolution technology,” and only two-thirds of the 700,000 and 1 million species in the ocean “have yet to be discovered or officially described, with almost 2,000 new species accepted by the scientific community each year.”

I’m glad the Masked Wolf has found his way out of the deep. But sometimes in the deep is where we find ourselves in space.

The Masked Wolf isn’t the only person who struggled with depression before “making it”. Genies CEO, Akash Nigam, shared in an interview with Cathy, his years-long struggle with social anxiety and depression. At a young age, pressure from his parents to excel academically conflicted with who Nigam was. In his twenty’s, Nigam left school to work full time on an app. “I dropped out to pursue a passion, but the sacrifice included severe loneliness, severe anxiety, and severe depression. I even started losing some hair…” Nigam said in the interview.

Nigam describes how he felt most like himself behind the keyboard. “He started to realize his avatar had served as his emotional surrogate during those hard times.” The team pivoted to virtual and visual identity which led to Genies avatars and several high-profile billionaire investors.

Nigam says in the interview, “our digital goods economy is driven by creator moments, which I think will be a driving force in the metaverse. The luxury brand for the digital world has yet to be created, and we hope to tap into that with our open source marketplace.”

What does mental health, luxury brands, and technology have to do with one another? Another article from Cathy (hey, she is a futurist) talks about mental well-being prophylactics. She predicts,

“our vehicles and public transport will have built in robot companions to keep us company and help us feel calm and happy on our journey. Our bathtubs will provide voice-guided meditations, subconscious hypnosis, and positive affirmations while we bathe physically and mentally. Our watches will help predict anxiety attacks and enable us to stop or minimize them before they begin. 

Our pajamas will hug us throughout the night and deliver transdermal well-being supplements and mental health medicine. Gamers will be able to take pit stops into virtual therapist offices and “rage rooms” without ever leaving their metaverse. Free snacks at the office will give way to free coaching and therapy by new professionals placed inside our HR departments. We will see more companies hire Chief Empathy Officers.”

What Would Life Look Like If We Become A Prophylactic Culture?

Think Chief Empathy Officer won’t be a thing? Then check out this article about job ads from the future.

I think all this hits me so hard because I went through a personal loss last year. I was “rolling down in the deep” for a while. I, like Akash Nigam, felt most like myself behind a keyboard. No one on LinkedIn or Twitter knew what I was going through. I could escape for brief moments in time. I started writing more to the point where Cathy asked me to join her at Futures Intelligence Group!

After a while, I no longer felt that I was in the darkness.

There are times when we all have our struggles. We feel that pain, wrestle with it. We don’t have to defeat it to be better. We can create from it and let our creations help guide us out of the deep or towards new discoveries. I don’t think we’re ever the same after a trauma. But I think what Masked Wolf and Akash Nigam say in their stories is that by admitting to the struggle and those feelings, we can create something that makes people feel good, give them an emotional surrogate, and find our own way to being an astronaut.


Featured Photo by Monica Garniga on Unsplash

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