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Watching the news this past month (to find some measure) on the BBC, I'm seeing a great deal of negativity and - to me at least, the world seems to be falling apart around us and so casually, we sit and watch this unfold before our very eyes on a 24 hour basis. It seems that regardless of what channel we watch – on More 4, for instance, as well as countless documentary and historical channels, we are seeing reminders of 11/9 (I'm British; not American – it's not 9/11) – we are surrounded by negativity.
When I turn on a different channel – one funded by advertisements – we're told that unless we look a certain way, we are imperfect. Unless we buy a certain product, we are not 'fitting in'. We “need” a certain aftershave to smell good. We “need” a certain dress or item of clothing to make us look good. We “need” to look like the Cheryl Cole's of the world in order to be accepted. “You” are overweight. “You” are ugly. “You” are a problem.
Our lives are somehow incomplete without gazing at our phones to check Facebook, or Twitter, every 5 minutes to read something that, 15 or 20 years ago, we wouldn't have known about, would have been oblivious to, and blissfully ignorant to unless somebody engaged in real, physical human contact with us and made us aware of their problem. Now, we see every conceivable problem that anybody has – literally “fed” to us; they are called “feeds” - on a minutely basis and for some strange reason, we are told to like this, to share this, as if in some way, the second is gets approval from another person gives us some sense of fulfilment, and if somebody else doesn't “like” it or “share” it, somehow, whatever we're trying to communicate is wrong; it's almost as though our entire lives are dominated by the sense or desire for somebody else's approval.
Whose, I ask?
I'm under no illusion that there are those of us who go to work, engage in whatever daily activities we engage in and so on, with depression and anxiety overshadowing us wherever we go, but those of us who sit inside, feel so depressed we can't bear to look out of the window and so turn to the television as a way of viewing the world – I wonder how you feel being told that your life is incomplete without a 56” ultra HD television you can't afford to watch programmes on television that tell you how rubbish everything is, only for you to get bored, gaze at a phone you have on a rolling contract, that isn't yours, to read a piece of personal information that has nothing to do with you and doesn't affect your life in any way and yet simultaneously makes you feel personally involved in some way or another.
So if this is you, and let's face it, there are millions in this boat, how do you think you should feel?
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