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Sunday, 23 September 2018

Has life gotten better?

A hundred years ago, young men would have been returning home after fighting in the first world war. Their wives/girlfriends/mothers took care of things while they were away. The level of emotional and physical resilience these people would have had far surpasses anything of today's young people. They had no internet, no social media, no globalisation. They simply got on with life as it came.

When I speak to older people, they mention how life was much gentler and simpler several decades ago. You could spend hours doing your shopping; going to the butcher's, bakery, grocery store, bread store, rather than rushing to get everything from one major corporate supermarket. It was the norm to stay with the same person from the age of twenty until the age of eighty. When people got married, they stayed married till death-do-part. I'm not saying I agree with forcing people to stay in unhappy marriages, but isn't there something to be said for that kind of attitude? That courage to stay with a person whom you took a vow to remain with through sickness and health?

Nowadays people will get married or get in a relationship and then end it as soon as a few things get tough. There's always someone else you can meet or swipe right on your phone. Our lives have become faster-paced and complex, rife with choice and opportunities. And while in a lot of ways that seems wonderful, has it actually made things more difficult?

I grew up in London, UK; a crazy, busy city, where everyone on the tubes looks grumpy and people barge into you on the street. There are many things I like and dislike about London. This city represents the height of modernity; public transport runs all night, if you lose one job you can find another, and friends exist on all sides of the city. Everything is spread out and constantly running like a hamster on a wheel.
How the mighty have fallen. I mean, I see nothing
wrong with women beings 'sluts', but it's not something to be proud/
unproud of, it just is what it is. It's as dumb as saying 'proud virgin.' 
As a person who suffers from anxiety and has a history of depression, such a large and busy city can be awfully lonely. I spent most of my teen years - heck, I still do - moving from place to place with my music in my ears because I would rather shut myself out from the world. It's easier to watch it drift by in a colourful blur rather than simply exist within it.

The other day I saw this musician called Tash Sultana at the Brixton 02 Academy in London. I wrote a blog post about it on my music blog which I will link here:

When I go and do wonderful things; see live music, go to a beautiful park, go to the cinema, sit with friends in a cafe, I have no desire to 'check it in on Facebook.' I don't want to log where I am on my phone. I did film a tiny bit but that was only for my blog. When I was at this gig, I gave myself to the music, closing my eyes and becoming immersed in her sounds. It was magical. (I did get a bit restless towards the end though and my friend and I left early because my body was aching from standing up. I can't have too much of a good thing for too long).

About a year ago I saw a firework display with some friends in Guildford; I filmed a bit to put on Instagram (why?) but my friend filmed none; she simply wanted to enjoy it. I wish more people had that attitude. I believe that something has been lost from our society; everyone wants to log where they are and film it or show off that they're somewhere awesome.

Why can't we just close our eyes and enjoy the show? Why can't we simply allow ourselves to be; to enjoy what we are doing rather than feel the need to log every single thing we do so we can 'show off' on social media? There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to document happy moments in your life to share with friends and family. I think that is very important; sharing the best moments of our lives with those who truly love us. But strangers don't care that I spent most of the UK's glorious heatwave swimming outdoors. My happiness is nothing to them. I find that when you are absorbed within something you enjoy it a lot more than if you're just filming it to put on social media.

Inspiring video.

Again, I am not saying there is anything wrong with putting things online at all. I am very active online and do share some moments of my life from time-to-time. I'm only human. But maybe if we just slowed down a little more to really appreciate our lives, we would see things that we wouldn't see from staring at our phone screens.

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
I've also published three YA fiction books and two poetry volumes. To check em out, copy and paste this link into your browser: