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Why are young people following astrology

Whether you call it art or science, astrology is pretty customary in India. It shouldn’t be surprising. Many of us are superstitious and we follow...

Thursday, March 11, 2021

/ by Avishek Bera

 


News Cover: Whether you call it art or science, astrology is pretty customary in India. It shouldn’t be surprising. Many of us are superstitious and we follow astrology. What’s surprising is that young Indians, who are considered to be scientific and rational, are moving towards astrology. 23-year-old Anish Choudhary stated in an interview with The Indian Express that his zodiac sign had clearly suggested to him that he’ll face work pressure. 

And on the same day, he had to work till late due to a client crisis. Apart from checking his horoscope, he also followed a popular astrology program on Aaj Tak. Anish isn’t the only young adult who is moving towards astrology. A 2019 survey conducted among the young adults of the US found that 75% of millennials believe in astrology and 65% check their horoscopes regularly. Many of you might point out that the data isn’t that of India but of the US. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any data related to India. 

So we’ll rely on qualitative insights for our analysis. Astrology has become a booming online business. Americans spend $2 Billion on astrology every year. Many investors are investing in businesses related to astrology. Young adults use astrology to seek answers to some of their life question Would I get a government job? What’d be the fate of my start-up? How’d my love-life progress? Would I do well in my exams? Honestly, I’ve observed this around me. Many of my age are relying on astrology apps and services. So why are youngsters following astrology? 


There’re three reasons for this. The first reason is stress. According to a survey by American Psychology Association, Millennials have been the most stressed generation since 2014. For those who don't know who millennials are. These are individuals who were born between 1981 and 1996. It was found during a survey in Ranchi that 1 out of 5 young adults showed symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. Young adults are stressed by their jobs, academics, and relationships. 

It can have negative consequences. The most common cause of death among young adults in India is suicide. When stressed many might seek relief in astrology. This is reflected in Jyotsana Sharma’s story, who lives in Noida. She was anxious about her job due to the COVID-19 crisis. Maybe that is the reason why people don’t go seeing an astrologer when their lives are in harmony. The second reason is uncertainty. Uncertainty means how uncertain we’re about our future. 

We can understand this with Jyotsana’s example. She had been stressed because she was uncertain about losing her job. Psychology suggests that humans have a tendency to be curious about their future. We want to know what will happen in our future. When and how our future will unfold? The reason why we love astrology is because it predicts our future. Shweta Jain, who’s 18, says that she reads her horoscope to learn what will likely happen during a day. Why are youngsters following astrology? 

Because our world is becoming more and more uncertain. According to a survey conducted by the International Labour Organisation, 38% of youngsters are uncertain about their future due to the pandemic. The third reason is the internet. Years ago you had to flip through a newspaper or consult an astrologer to know your horoscopes. But the internet and social media have changed this. There’re over 200 astrology apps in App Store. 

The co-founder of the Astrobuddy app claimed that the app saw a jump in the number of users by 25% during the pandemic. And this trend started after demonetization. The relationship that has been created between the internet and astrology reflect in the meme culture too. Astrology isn’t the only way to seek relief from the uncertainty and stress in our lives. There’re many forms of astrology: Tarot cards, crystal balls, palm reading, etc. are also growing popular among young adults. 

So we discussed why youngsters are following astrology. It’s due to stress, uncertainty, and the internet. Now let’s try to understand how astrology solves their problems. It removes uncertainty. We discussed it before. Luck and randomness play an important role in our lives. Who would’ve guessed that COVID-19 would change the world overnight? We don’t like this randomness. We don’t like the uncertainty of the world around us. 

That’s why we follow astrology, as it can eliminate this randomness. After the 2008 financial crisis, many working in the corporate industry lost their savings. Many of them consulted an astrologer and asked questions like, ‘What’s going on in my life? Nothing makes sense.’ Most of the hardships that we go through are random. They don’t have a strong cause behind them. But we don’t like randomness. 

So when you consult an astrologer he/she might reassure you by saying that your horoscope reads poorly. This is best for reassurance and in eliminating uncertainty. 2. Astrology offers us a chance to put the blame on something else. Research has shown that when you lose your job or face a crisis in the stock market, or have a breakup you feel better if an astrologer tells you that it’s all because of the misalignment of stars and planets. Third: astrology gives us confidence. 

Astrology is like that best friend who keeps you encouraging. ‘Mohak don’t worry. It’s just a phase of hardships. Future has something bright for you.’ (positive reassurances) How many of you’ve watched Harry Potter? There’s a scene in the movie where Harry gives a ‘luck potion’ to Ron before a quidditch match. Whoever drinks this potion becomes lucky for a while. Ron was very unconfident before the game. After drinking the potion he felt confident and performed well in the match too. 

Later he discovered that Harry never gave him a luck potion and that it had all been in his mind. There is interesting research related to this. Before an exam, some students were shown positive horoscopes while some were shown negative. It was found that the students who were shown positive horoscopes performed well in their exams. In reality, nothing’s changing in your life. You’re just being told that you have a great future ahead of you. 

It’s called: We saw this in Jytoana’s case. She said that at first, she didn’t believe in astrology but after listening to her positive horoscope she felt at ease. This could happen with many youngsters. We’re scientific and rational in our reasoning. So we may not believe in astrology but we also want to read a positive horoscope due to our innate mentality. Astrology apps are changing their marketing strategy to target youngsters like us. 

For example, Co-star, one of the most popular astrology app, claims that it uses data provided by NASA. It’s interesting as they are appealing to people who believe in science and consider NASA to be a reputable institute. Thus, they won’t mind reading astrology. Like we discussed the placebo effect of astrology can help improve someone’s test score. But it has many negative consequences too. Many of the time people become obsessed with astrology and their horoscopes. 

Dr. Richard Andrew, a clinical psychologist, stated that some can become so obsessed that they refer to their horoscopes 5-6 times a day. Anita confessed that she becomes more depressed if she doesn’t find a positive horoscope. This can also lead to another issue known as: It means that people start believing that their life depends on external factors and they have little control over them. This mentality can be dangerous. 

Believing in astrology isn’t a bad thing. We discussed the positive aspects of astrology – it can relieve stress and make you confident. But depending more on astrology can prove to be dangerous. What’s the solution? You can consider three things. You need to accept the fact that we don’t have 100% control over our lives. And we can never predict our future. 

Astrology might counter stress and depression but it’s not the only way. You can seek therapy. Mental health is a broad field and professionals can help you solve your problems related to your job, love life, and other factors that are making you depressed. 

I’ve placed some links in the description that you can refer to. The primary cause of stress in our life is our work-life. Many customers are asking questions related to their careers to astrologers. Rather than consulting an astrologer, you could see a counselor or mentor who could help you out. 

By maintaining a good work-life balance we can solve these problems. Hopefully, we seek only the positive aspects of astrology i.e confidence and not negative ones such as depression.

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