Is Modern Life Creating Much More Emotional Distress Than People Encountered In The Past?
Everywhere we turn whether it’s online, television, movies, or books we are bombarded with images of happy successful, smiling people who seems not a care in the world.
But the last few days have shown us oftentimes this is merely a facade.
Take social media for example. We see hundreds of such images a day. Members posting images of an exciting vacation, a lovely wedding, a newfound love, a brand new car or house. Everyone is smiling and happy. There’s nothing wrong with any of these thing but to the person who maybe suffering from depression, or someone who is being deprived the basic necessitates of life, or the unsuccessful person these images may be drudging to watch day after day. They may start to see their own lives as a failure. I hope no one does but I believe many see their own lives as a failure when they look around at their lives and compare them to all the “happy” images sent their way.
I thought of the question of this post because everything is measured by numbers, rankings and algorithms online. The chances of your blog being seen is measured by how many visitors you receive, bumping up place in the search engine. If you are a writer, the chance of your book being read is measured again by numbers, algorithms and don’t forget the ‘keywords’. Like for example, on Twitter it is more important to have a huge following base than people who interact with you. We all know none of these are a true yardstick by which real success is measured by but online, unfortunately it is.
Another reason the subject came to mind is a few days ago a young woman so absorbed in whatever she was doing on her IPhone that she walked right in the path of my car. Blessed for her I wasn’t going fast and stopping wasn’t hard. She wasn’t paying attention to anything other than her phone. Her startled face told me she didn’t know she was no longer on the sidewalk. I couldn’t help but wonder what was so important that she was risking life and limb to conduct?
Not that people could compare themselves to others because they couldn’t but they do and no amount of encouraging them not is going to stop them. Humans have been doing it for thousands of years. But before the age of overexposure people didn’t have as many others to compare themselves to. They only had those around them such as co-workers and neighbors but today most young people find themselves comparing themselves to the happy celebrity or millionaire’s child who just got an expensive item or got to attended a much envied concert with a front row seat to their own favorite singer.
Psychologically, does this eventually wear a person down? Creating a sense of hopelessness? I believe it does because it is not a realistic presentation of life. I believe young people and those already suffering depression are more prone to its effects. This is why I say depressed people could limited themselves to exposure and the parents of teenager could limited the amount of time spent online, watching televisions and etc and go out and enjoy life. There’s a whole wonderful world out there that isn’t picture perfect. You learn to take the good with the bad and learn to face the obstacles thrown your way and move on and not prognosticate everything. Real success is measured by your yardstick not anyone else because there’s only one you.