Stress parameters keep changing with every generation. Socialising, Social media and even shopping have been voted as stress busters.
Digital age has enhanced our connectivity and convenience. However, it has also helped unearth some key patterns within us.
Read to know author’s take on this issue.
One day, I called up one of my colleagues for some work. I knew she was on a look out for a job and was expecting a call from her prospective employer. As she picked up my call, I could sense she was disturbed. When asked, she said she had to wait for some more time, as her hiring was still in process. “Today, I am upset because of this delay. Hence, have come out for some depressive shopping” she remarked.
I have to be honest, the term quite intrigued me. I never knew that shopping had some hidden magic which could pull a sad soul into the happy zone. Well, I thought, what’s the harm in trying it myself? So I picked up my wallet, got into my car, went to the nearest mall and got started with my latest experiment. To be honest, initially it did feel good to own the things that I wanted to. The instant gratification of material possessions did spike up my energy but it did not last long.
I asked myself, what is it that people are really looking for, why do they act like this to regulate their emotions? I feel it is not driven by the need to own ‘the things’; it is more driven by resistance. Resistance to introspect, to question self, to stay patient and a tendency to flee reality.
This person, she is just 26-years-old! At this age, one is always bubbling with enthusiasm to experience possibilities. Maybe I was living under a rock. At 26, I didn’t even know that a concept like ‘Depressive shopping’ existed.
Having worked with people of all ages in my entrepreneurial journey, I often observed, in moments of stress and pressure they would seek counsel. The good part is that they are aware. There is no need to suppress, so good to take timely advice. But the sad part is that they are too aware! I have had interactions where many a times they would come up and say, “I am so stressed that I am experiencing suicidal tendencies” Whoa! Now that’s heavy.
The digital-age has definitely made an average person more connected, more aware and more intelligent. If you wish to make a mark in anything digital, you need to have two important qualities in your repertoire – Speed and Exaggeration (be loud).
Anything instant has caught our imagination – order the food online and it should arrive in a millisecond, online shopping and pay extra for fastest delivery, constant complaints if the network is too slow to load up the web-page. As a result, anything that takes longer than what is originally expected, creates jitters, anxiety, reactions and aggression at an emotional level.
If you observe closely, exaggeration is the game for all things online. If they are not loud and intrusive, how will they catch a viewer’s attention? They need to be over the top and virtually scream to get attention. With a window of opportunity lasting only a few seconds, if their brand/product/service/experience doesn’t make an impression, it gets swiped or scrolled for the next available option. As a result, there is a need to seek attention and validation all the time. This pattern gets inscribed even in the customer, the expectations are clear when they are online.
The problem however is, when these aspects percolate in other areas of life – profession, relationships, expectations of success, decisions etc. Any small deviation and phew! brace yourself for a series of life-threatening consequences.
Consequences that are mostly in thoughts only. Top it up with intelligent sounding terminologies, data and statistics trending on the internet. It makes things look worse than what they actually are. This leads to mix up and confusions both in feelings and in expression of those feelings. Sometimes, a lesser number of likes on Facebook can make one question the purpose of his/her existence!
Many innovative ideas get bounced-off daily but it takes good old-fashioned, traditional, patient and persistent hard work to make things work.
People usually get tensed as per time zones – things done in the past or situations in the present or thoughts about the future. Add to this – Digi-’tensed’; stress caused due to patterns of the digital age.
Challenges are real, yes, lack of sleep, tensions at work or relationships etc. are a reality. But, we learn to deal with them by reflecting on ourselves, trying to be better in every situation and yes, by seeking counsel not for attention but to take solution oriented corrective actions.
Take out time to be present, in the moment! What if life also had a ‘Slo-mo’ feature? We could experience every minute detail around us. Well, maybe some of us have this feature built in. Try spending time with your loved ones, and with self; without being distracted. Let us live every moment to the fullest…
– Darpan Jha
This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the writer, and not necessarily to any organization, committee or other group or individual.