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Why GDPR Is Good for Your Mental Wellbeing

by Verity Brown 4 years ago in politics
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Verity Brown explains why GDPR could be the best thing that has happened to our inboxes, mailing lists, and digitally infused minds for a very long time

Over the past few weeks, I have been getting a stream of emails into my inbox with various themed titles. From a gentle “Hello Verity, just a friendly reminder” to a slightly desperate “We don’t want to lose you“ and the downright aggressive “Are you in or out?”

For those of you who thinks GDPR stands for Giant Dog Plays Rambo (because let’s face it, that would be much more entertaining) it’s actually a regulation in EU law regarding data protection that’s coming into place on 25 May 2018.

And I will let you into a little secret—even though I shouldn’t say this with a background in marketing—but I am rather enjoying it all. For years companies have bombarded me with pointless information, sales copy, and essay style newsletters. And yes, there is that tiny unsubscribe button at the bottom of every email, but for some reason it just seems like way too much effort to do that with every single company you have signed up to for a first shop discount code or a PDF that advises you how to get a flat tummy in six days—and you actually have no interest in anymore. Don’t judge me, but I have over 45k unopened emails in my Gmail and over 96k in my Hotmail. So totally lazy ass over here when it comes to that unsubscribe button hidden in the footer!

So what happens if we don’t click on the links in the emails that companies are sending us asking us to confirm we are happy for them to contact us? Well, it's simple; they can’t continue to email us. And if they do, they are breaking the law. And how bloody amazing does that feel? For the first time in our lives, we are fully in control of the emails we receive (without having to click on every darned individual unsubscribe button!).

There is a lovely loophole, though. If consent was asked for when you signed up then they can still email. But, if it was a box that was already ticked or was opt-out rather than opt-in, then they have to ask you again. A quick GDPR Google will give you all the juicy details. So far, I have clicked “Yes, I still want to receive your emails” to around five companies. Imagine if that is all I did. On 26 May, and onwards, imagine how few emails I would receive. Imagine the inbox decluttering and the time gained on a daily basis from minimised scrolling. Imagine having less pointless things to absorb and try and understand if you want/ need it. Imagine missing a company's emails, searching to subscribe again, and understanding more about yourself and what you truly love and adds value to your life.

Well stop imagining, because it is happening. As much as GDPR can be a pain in the ass for us business owners and marketers, I see it as a blessing in disguise. Companies' email lists could halve overnight (some are predicted to lose up to 90 percent of their list!) but those that remain will be loyal and engaged followers and customers. They will be people who want to hear your message, want to receive your valuable content and want to know about your product launches and deals.

For the consumer, GDPR is a chance to get a stronger understanding and control of our digital relationships, reduce the amount of time we spend on screens, in turn, improving our mental wellbeing. For the business owners, as scary as it may be, it's an opportunity to really start making authenticity, value and service the priority in a saturated digital landscape.

Verity Brown is the founder of and specialises in mental energy—teaching women how to understand it and in turn how to gain, sustain, and not drain it for optimum mental strength. Her teachings are relevant for all but she specialises in working directly with women who are pre-motherhood or who have grown-up children; no-dependants. She is based in England and offers international group programmes, virtual 121 mentoring, local goddess gatherings, and inspirational speeches.


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Verity Brown

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