A while back, I tried to explain to someone the difference between being helpful and being thoughtful. I felt that one of them was a necessity and the other was a commodity. One is purposeful, the other is sentimental. Both with good intentions and a similar outcome, they are often mistaken for each other. But they are noticeably different in terms of energy exertion.
This week, I ponder about the difference between stressed and depressed. They also appear to be similar and could be mistaken for each other, both involving emotional withdrawal and alienation of friends. Last week, I was noticeably stressed, but this week, I am noticeably depressed. But strangely enough, I am happier when I’m not stressed, meaning that I’m happier this week (being depressed), than I was last week (when I was stressed).
I saw a social media joke about how: I’ve been depressed for so long that it’s become part of my personality. Even though it’s miserable sounding, I thought it accurately expressed the outlook of a generation. I’ve seen dozens of anecdotes which convey the mood of the generation as being anxious and manically dissatisfied. Strange as it may seem. I’d prefer to be depressed over being stressed, because it takes less energy. But many people feel that the opposite is better, because at least the stress is caused by a specific source. Something particular that will pass and then vanish from their mind. Depression is an ongoing frame of mind, with no definitive end, and many people feel that the nebulous intensity and duration makes it more hazardous to mental health.
Despite the marvels of new technology, it’s a terrible time in history to be a young adult trying to make their mark on the world. I think a lot of people my age have been forced into this state of apathy by dishonest culture advertising. Educated millennials have entered the work force with crippling debt, and have not been able to afford the same quality of life that our parents enjoyed a generation ago. Very few of us are able to go the traditional route.
Many of my friends are postponing marriage and family because of the costs. And our ‘bachelor years’ are extended into our 30s. We are a generation disenchanted with the modern economy/government, and instead chose to be addicted to entertainment media, just so we don’t have to be saddened by how inadequate real life feels. This is not a single misfortune that we can learn/grow from, it’s an evolving method of oppression. We are trapped in a system that disadvantages people and segments society.
Having looming debts means that we have less disposable income to spend frivolously on consumer goods. Which means that companies are having to work harder to get us to spend money in their stores. Which slowly increases prices of items because companies need to make up the lost profits. Which means that people are having to spend more on the same goods. Which limits the ability of the people to pay off their debts. And the cycle continues.
This is where my generation lives. In a constant state of stressed-out depression. Trying to pay for things we don’t really need, because the system tells us we need to have them, and then raises the prices of them.