Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Neer Korn says beng sad or depressed is out of fashion among teens

Trendspotter Neer Korn´s latest newsletter addresses the subject of teen emotions, and he points out the interesting fact that being low, sad or depressed is no longer acceptable in this group. You are supposed to be happy all the time, and not bring others down.

It seems like we are going back to the good old days when people did not have time or room for negative thinking. Our grandma generation couldn´t take a sickie to be moody about life - you simply had to get on with, get over it and be strong.

Happiness is definitely a choice, a filter you apply on your life, when looking at things. Of course there are heaps of things to be bothered about – but there is also heaps to be happy about. There are problems, but looking for solutions is better for you than to dwell on the dark sides of life.

From Korn:

The Happiness Imperative (and why Facebook is to blame)

Reading the Facebook updates of Teens (and those older for that matter) you’d everyone is constantly happy, busy and surrounded by friends. That life is just one big party. If you don’t have an exhausting social life, and photos to prove so, you must be the odd one out. The pressure is on to be always busy, active and constantly happy – or at least appear to be.
In a recent study of Teens lives an interesting attitude that emerged is that teens have little empathy for their peers’ problems. Despite the fact that by their own admission bullying, bitching, gossip and innuendo is rife, they have little tolerance for those around them experiencing these very problems. And despite acknowledging in the research to their moodiness, self-doubt, personal and family struggles, by-and-large they don’t want to know about others experiences of these. So they don’t share their own.
Bringing ones problems to the social group is a seen as a downer and not welcomed. Many feel the word ‘depression’ is overused and an excuse of the weak in order to seek attention, so they pay little heed to it. They expect others to just snap out of it if they feel down. While they know there are those who suffer from serious depression and anxiety, they have no way of separating the real from the melodramatic. And the teen playground is filed with melodrama.
Those Teens lucky enough to have a very close friend or two to share their issues with are the lucky ones. The rest have no choice but to bottle it in. “Nobody want to hear about you problems” is what they say, “You’ve expected to be up all the time.”
So they put on a happy face. Their seeming outer mask of confidence is convincing and for many disguises an internal turmoil. And, as they put it, it can be exhausting.
For all its benefits, Facebook exasperates the issue many fold. And when we consider Facebook here we should do so from a Teen rather than an adult perspective. Teens are Facebook addicts. Living without it, even for a few days, is an unbearable thought for most. It is their connection to their social circle. After school, in the late evening, the playground is emulated virtually, with multitudes of conversations, comments and taunts taking place. Missing out on an evening of Facebook means being out of the social loop at school the next day and that is something they actively avoid.
While they regard Facebook as an excellent forum to share their lives and keep their ‘Facebook friends’ up to date, the editing process they place on their lives is very slanted. What they showcase on Facebook is what they know others wish to see. It is their life through rose-coloured glasses. They will show how much fun their having, how many parties they have been to and how great life is. Few write things like: ”I did nothing this weekend” or “stayed home Saturday night.”
In this way they egg each other on. Everyone else presents a happy and confident self and so do they. For this is the image they want to depict. Their public persona becomes skewed.
Adults are also guilty of this albeit to a lesser degree. When colleagues at a workplace are asked about upcoming weekend plans or their weekend just past their answers are often exaggerated. No one wants to admit about a boring, activity-less weekend, it reflects badly on them.
Most people have down time, with less activity and excitement. By pretending we don’t and not allowing ourselves such experiences we make us all feel bad.
Perhaps Facebook needs a consumer warning – “The updates you are about to read may not be a true reflection of that person’s life.”

I talk on this topic as a happiness coach:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your insights :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.