I have just been reading about our 21st century malaise.
Flicking through The Saturday Times today, I found a guide (their words, not mine) to the latest and greatest of modern-day society’s afflictions. Being interested in social culture and all of that and having paid for my newspaper, I read on with mild interest, some skepticism and a little agreeable head-nodding.
(You on the other hand, would have to pay for all this – no more free news online from The Times – thanks to that Rupert chap.)
Anyway, I figured that if I just shared the list, a handful of links and a few of my choice-est views on the matter, you could decide for yourself whether you wanted to go to The Times website and fork out for more learned opinions on this subject than mine. So here goes.
First up it’s Decision Fatigue. Too many decisions make us tired and lower our performance levels.
No sh*t Sherlock. I did not need The Times or Roy Baumeister to tell me this although I appreciate that nothing ever changes unless we label it and make it a big issue so kudos to the man for that. I think that for me, the issue may lie in something much smaller – listening to my actual choices, you know the ones I actually make. Like when I ask for tap water with no ice, don’t bring me tap water with ice in it and get annoyed when I send you away to get me what I asked for. Call me a pedant if you will but it’s the small things people, the small things.
Next there’s Erotic Capital. The Times calls this ‘monetising what the Good Lord gave you’. Catherine Hakim calls it Honey Money and wrote a book about it.
I want to believe it’s bullsh*t. Because then what’s the point of employing all of those other things like charm, persuasiveness, intelligence, listening and just plain good manners?
Twitter Jitters is next. Apparently it relates to whether you are posting frequently enough. For what? I ask you. Is this a race? Is there a prize or something? And what about Twitter SPAM? I am already managing this quite well thank you in my email-slash-blogging life. And quite frankly, sometimes what starts out as a delightful trickle of tweets disintegrates into retweet rubbish and I wonder what beautiful scenery I might have enjoyed by gazing soulfully out of the train window instead.
Next cab off the rank is Weekendvy. Yes, there’s another stupid word that dictionaries the world over can add to their erudite tomes in a year or so’s time. The point of this is that we lie to make our weekends seem more fun / glamorous / relaxing / exciting / virtuous / wholesome than they actually are. (I sense a bit of Keeping Up With The Joneses here).
And the dunderheads who actually commissioned this research and coined this phrase (according to The Times)? Travelodge. I rest my case.
Number five is Helicopter Parent Syndrome. There are words mentioned here like Child-bothering and Teacher-bullying. Ripe for provocation. Spoiling for a fight.
But I.Am.Not.A.Parent. for a reason (many of them in fact). So no comment. Nada. Move along people – nothing to see here.
And last but not least there’s Internet Stupidity. Apparently our brains have atrophied and we spend many hours wilfing (from What was I Looking For?), wandering online from link to link to link. Although I should point out here that this is not a new phenomenon. I have been doing this from room to room in my not-large flat for many years now.
And the panacea to this malingering? Well therein was the most sensible piece of advice in the whole article. Three little words. Right at the end. Read.A.Book.
So here endeth the rant from the Peanut Gallery.
Now where’s my Kindle?
Oh yeah…and what do you think? (WILF WILF)