I keep blaming everything on “my generation”. I don’t commit — it’s not me, it’s the generation. I don’t say things as they are — it’s not me, it’s the generation. I follow shallow, non-authentic trends — it’s of course the generation.
Every friend, pseudo-millennial analyst or news publication tell us it’s okay. Or if they don’t, they tell us everyone’s like this, too. But what’s the limit? Where do these socially accepted flaws have to end and where does individual responsibility for one’s fulfilment start?
It’s hard to treat a problem that’s cool to have to begin with. In 9 out of 10 cases, the “problem” makes for an interesting topic to discuss over drinks, to make fun of with other generations. The “problem” allows us to be more independent and to maintain the oh-so-cherished social show. But in that 1 out of 10 cases, it rips us out. Its effects are so overwhelming that it makes us long for other generations’ traditional values we read or hear about but don’t fully understand.
But how could we simplify our behaviour and return to “basics” when our whole DNA is shaped by these disruptive triggers of technology and globalisation — triggers that not only make it easy to survive in such a pattern, but also constantly augment it?
We can try to isolate the influences, of course. Stop reading that website, stop compulsively checking that one social network, stop thinking Tinder is fun or stop creating our own realities based on all these. But is that enough? There is always going to be that new, flashy temptation that will bring us back to square one.
We can also try to learn to dose and balance these influences. But it requires constant, conscious effort — and it’s as agonising as it is with any other addiction. And oh, the relapse! It’s so much sweeter when the stimulants come from 10 different directions that we love to juggle with.
We probably have to constantly re-learn to live with all this and make the most of it. At the end of the day, those 9 happy cases make up for that one that’s destructive, right? And the hedonistic “I’m happy now, I’ll deal with this when it’s a problem” might actually be working, right?