So I had my first Instagram question Poll yesterday! Yes, I’m a millennial with an old soul (and still trying to catch up on all these new features on social media- no judging!) Anyway, here was my question: “would you say that life as we know it now is more depressing than it was for generations before us?”
At the end of the day, I had 50% who said yes and another 50% that said no. I’d like to open this up for discussion. Get your comments ready!
I’m trying to understand why life is more depressing for us, when it should be better, given all the changes we’ve had across history.
Money: this generation seems to be a lot more broke than generations before us! I mean, I used to pity my mom when she’d mention her first salary back then, but now I realize that the money then still had a lot of value. So even though we’re earning more than that, we seem to still be broke with zero assets! 🤷🏽♀️ Not to mention the economic opportunities that have been opened up to us.
Family and friends: to think we have technology to facilitate communication, somehow we still end up lonely in our beds at night, clasping the cold metal of our phones and chatting with online friends who we can’t touch. Wondering how many likes we can get on a photo to feel good about ourselves. Back then, families and communities would unite to share folk tales under the moonlight. People reached out and felt each other— but now it’s like ‘leave me alone!’ Individualism vs community I guess? 💁🏽♀️
Technology: again, shouldn’t this make our lives better? But why are we rather more depressed trying to catch up with technological advancements (iPhone 11 is out!), having anxiety that our jobs would soon be replaced by robots, not to mention vices like cyber bullying, identity theft etc which have been made easier by technology. Technology; a blessing or a curse? (We’ve heard enough of those debates)
Knowledge: with more information literally at our fingertips, we’re still lost on a lot of things. A little here and there with little or no command over a subject matter. In a pool of knowledge, we still have a lot of people who are not knowledgeable.
Faith: even though Christianity was entwined with colonialism back then, now we have the freedom of choice. But with that freedom comes a lot of questioning, uncertainties, a loss of belief in anything, and sometimes nothing to stay alive for. Because somehow, in the midst of all the difficulty they faced, having hope in something beyond was what helped them keep going on. If one believes in nothing, life then loses meaning.
These are a few of my thoughts. I believe life is more depressing today. I still struggle with anxiety and depression, and to be honest, I haven’t been having my best week. And that’s just me! Many people are dealing with things they don’t talk about. But here we are again, trying to stay alive. Here’s a word that helps me in times like this:
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”- Isaiah 43:2 NLT
That said, there’s always gonna be fire that wants to burn us, waters that want to drown us, but we can’t let that happen. We can’t give up because life has gotten more depressing. It’s up to us to make life how we want it to be. To keep trusting the One who created us to see us through our lifetime.
Today is World Mental Health Day, and I hope this post helps you understand that you’re not in this fight alone to stay alive. And for those who can’t relate to this, try to be a little kinder to the people around you. Together we will make the choice everyday to keep living, and to live victoriously!
23 thoughts on “Are we more depressed in this generation?”
There might be another thing. I’m guessing. We talk about it more than ever. People struggle all the time and everywhere.
Yeah! Maybe our generation is just more vocal than others were, and we have social media to help us. Thanks for sharing!
I think we also must begin to consider how to make mental health care more available and affordable.
To ensure that the next guy who is depressed can walk into a doctor’s office and talk about their feelings
To know that when next am feeling down I can have access to a professional medical care not just M( M you know your the best 😘)
Since I can’t do so much about that, I can try to make my space safe for people to express their feelings, inspite of their age or gender.
I think it was Carl Lentz who said “it’s okay to man down” the concept of being asked as a man(or any gender) to bottle up your feelings should be thrown away. Let’s make the world safe. M how is your mental health today? I am a bit upbeat I think has something to do with the fact that it’s almost weekend. ❤🌞😎☺️🤗🙂☺️😘🥰😀🤣😅😃😂
Thank you, Captain! Yeah, I’m more upbeat today cos it’s World Mental Health Day 😁 I think you’re right about making it more available and affordable. We should take off the stigma we’ve placed on those dealing with mental health issues. I like the quote ‘It’s okay to man down.’ You’ve really made so many good points! It’s important we create safe spaces that encourage people to speak up. Thanks again for sharing! 💗💗
World mental health day. Interesting.
we now have too much exposure due to technological advancement and it is not helping people get out of depression. the media can sometimes remind you of how everyone’s life is great but yours.
More crimes now our days and yet new types of jobs and career path; the growing number of counselor and therapist jobs available but in most cases it’s a cliche as the person helping is most often more depressed than the person they are trying to bring out of depression.
Religion is just a topic i don’t want to get into cuz it’s saddening some things going on in a supposed safe place.
For me, it’s only getting better. When others say there is a casting down, for me there is a lifting up
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Hmmm! I think you’ve broken this table! 😁 Especially bringing it back to how some religious leaders have failed, and how some counselors are also struggling themselves. But in spite of the gloom, I like your last sentence which shows that it can only get better!
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hahahah. it will get better i hope
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Thanks for this post M, really appreciate this.
Firstly I’d like to say that in my own opinion, we are more depressed now because of social media and our devices…
-social media allows us to compare how little or how uninteresting our lives are compared with what we see.
-devices , we spend too much time on our devices, our cameras are doing so much better in making us look better than we actually are. Setting really unreal expectations about our images, we may have over 30 to 40 different pictures of the same dress at a time just trying to find that perfect post. Also that people we don’t know can like our pictures thus validating the image we are trying to create.
All just my opinion…
Thank you Sesan! Yeah, social media makes us set really unrealistic expectations of how our lives should be. And you just had to shake the table on the camera part! (I’m on that table!) Lol.
I think one of the biggest factors is the technology. The fact that everything is at our fingertips, we are exposed to depressing content every single day. We are pressured by what we see online everyday. We can preach about our different journeys but for a lot of people that pressure to have achieved certain things by a certain time is a big driver of negative emotions in their lives. I discuss some of these issues about feeling pressured and not really knowing oneself in my blog and I do think that these are some causes of this depression epidemic.
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Thank you Louisa! Ah yes! The pressure is everywhere. People are comparing their timelines with others and forgetting that our journeys are all different. I’d check out your blog!
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Hey M! I think you echoed my thoughts all through. In addition, I suspect also that we are more selfish and entitled these days. Sometimes, fulfilment comes from serving and being there for others. In the absence of a balanced level of kindness towards others, we become too self-focused and slip down the road of depression.
I hope the conversations around this subject help us get better.
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Thanks Chisim! That’s another important angle to look at – helping others. I’ve personally seen my life get better when I serve others than when I’m self focused. But yeah it’s pretty hard to be that way every time 🙈 Yes, I do hope these kinds of conversations help us do better.
Thank you for this!!
To be candid, the world is in a lot more trouble than we know. Small yet so big, technologically advanced yet so outdated. Close yet so far.
But you know, in all honesty, perhaps I should put it this way, ‘We have so much more to spend money on today than our parents.. and the things we spend money on don’t do as great as we think they do at taking care of us. Technology is intelligent, but empathy is lost and empathy is beyond emotional availability; it is personal, it is honest, it is true.
Voice was lacking in the days of our parents, no one dared spoke up about mistreatment as it came off as insolence and insubordination even though a lot of ears were available. You would find ears that would lend you a shoulder but not many to fight your cause. Now there are voices and not many listeners. Many fighters but not many shoulders. These days, you even pay for the shoulders. And when you are out of funds, suicide becomes an option. But there are laws, instead of reforming the suicidal (victim), we jail them for attempted suicide.
It’s a sad world.
But it is not without hope.
Man made technology. So man should know when it should interface with man. Not with the help of technology. Technology should be the bus that takes you there, not the invincible couch you sit on with your loved ones.
Smile more, hug more, listen more, love more. Freely too. Decide to be more than just a voice, or a fighter but a shoulder.
You’ll be amazed by how much impart your little efforts may be.
It is a small world after all.
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Wow! This was really insightful! You’ve touched quite a number of things, and for me the area of empathy is key! We need to lend our shoulders and be more ‘human’ than technology allows us be. Thanks for sharing, Kelvin!
Very interesting read Mfon! Truth is I kind of agree with the poll. We are not necessarily more depressed, although we are facing much different challenges from what the generations ahead of us did. The major change is that this generation is more aware, erratic and vocal!
People internalise things much differently today. Social media, technology and unrestricted access to information also has negative impacts.
Peer pressure and competition is so real even from people you barely know. Life seems generally more complex – Its like our blessings have been laced with burdens and it takes more disciplined and discernment to succeed.
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“Blessings laced with burdens…” that’s a really good one! This peer pressure issue though! Is there a way we can put an end to it? Can we really survive it? Thanks for joining voices, Ogo!
Ever wondered why it is called ‘Cell phone’? Well, today we’ve become prisoners of our mobile devices!
You see, each generation is shaped by certain factors. This generation is shaped predominantly by technology, new media, and consumerism. The last one was shaped by meaningful connections.
There’s this thing about each generation making comparisons. They often think their generation is ‘cooler’ and better than the previous one, but in the same breath think the emerging generation is faulty in some way.
Generation Z Vs Y, generation X Vs Baby boomers and on and on. This has been an age old conversation.
Narrowing this down, let’s talk about depression. It’ll be interesting to see the absolute numbers over the years. But with the population explosion, it could be hard to see the diffentials, except with percentages of the populace.
But who’s to say that what we know as depression today wasn’t around in previous generations? Could it be that they just weren’t amplified like they are today? Today we live In a digital and hyperconnected world where our goal is to compete and compare ourselves with everyone else. We think we’re connected, yet we’ve never been more disconnected from each other.
Let’s drive this home, New media has really changed the the world, making us more aware of how lonely we are, how much we lack, and the inequality prevalent in the world. We are a generation of instant gratification with zero sustainability drives. My earnest worry is this, what kind of world will we deliver to the generation after us?
Love and light! ❤
Sometimes I don’t even wanna think about what life would be for generations to come. You’ve raised many salient points! “We think we’re connected, yet we’ve never been more disconnected from each other!” This strikes a thousand chords! Thanks for lending your voice, Dave!
Having a mental illness and dealing with mental health can sometimes be debilitating, embarrassing, and misunderstood.
Saying words like – “you will be fine”, “everyone is going through this as well”, etc., will not cut it anymore. At this point, we have to be there for each other, constantly check in to see that people we refer to as our ‘friends’ are not smiling on the outside and hurting witihin.
All in all, with all that we see,read and experience on a daily basis, one of the best ways to spread appropriate awareness about mental health is to be an open resource for without being defensive about it. Attacking a person for their ignorance is not a healthy way to discuss it, and it doesn’t seem to make a positive impact. It will take some time for the Nigerian society to be more open, more loving, more everything it should be, but with time, patience, and information I believe that it can get to that point.
Amazing write-up M.
Thanks CB! Yeah, being an open resource is very key. And what you said about checking in on friends that may be smiling on the outside but hurting on the inside is very true! I really pray that we get to that point as a nation.
I think it’s a lot of what you pointed out and even more how we are not letting ourselves have this conversation with anyone because we’re not wired to talk about these issues. Like Chisim said we’re entitled and to the wrong things. We blame it on pressure, technology, our parents but we forget that we’re not letting ourselves unpack what we’ve experienced, and focus on things that really matter.
Dang! “We’re not wired to talk about these issues” I mean, you mention mental health and people think you’re crazy. It’s such an uncomfortable topic around lots of people. Thanks Adana for sharing!