Heard and read that we Americans broke the record for Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales. A lot if not most of it was done via our smart phones, computers and tablets, too. Since the advent of social media, it seems we don’t know how to be sociable with one another when we’re in person, anyway, so it’s a good thing most of our shopping is done online.
People always fight, now it’s just captured by our smart phone cameras, especially when it occurs in a mall, or outside of one in the parking lot when two would be shoppers end up in a dust up over a parking space.
Another conclusion that can be drawn concerning the record shopping going on is the possibility that we’ve never been unhappier as a society. That’s only if you believe materialism and buying stuff cannot make us happy. If it could, we’d all be singing happy days are here again when our credit card bills come due. But, most of us aren’t rich and we do not sing this tune. We understand all too well after we’ve taken something shiny out of the box, its sheen (and I’m not talking Marty or Charlie) wears off pretty fast.
Buying stuff can be a lot like addiction. We apparently need to keep buying more stuff in order to maintain our pursuit of happiness which amounts to nothing more than an epic fail. As time goes by, we have to buy more and more stuff just to maintain a neutral expression as it takes more purchases than we can afford to buy even a smile.
We have our smart phones that evidently have replaced the not-so-smart phones we had before. Still, no matter how many things we buy with them, we just don’t seem to be able to sustain contentment for even a short while.
Peoples’ faces are buried in their smart phones the majority of the time they are conscious. It’s an adult pacifier that we pay a monthly premium for. If money was the root of all evil in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, smart phones are the causes of our narcissistic behavior resulting in the miserable states we find ourselves, in the 21st century going forward.
For all their promise of an easier, happier and more efficient life on the job, technological gadgets of all types have left us exposed with the same resources we’ve always had at our disposal. There are only so many hours in the day, too, and if we are expected to produce more because of these technological aids and breakthroughs, no wonder we are more stressed out, tense, anxious and unhappy than we’ve ever been.
We try to offset stress on the job by using our phones an equal amount of the time when we’re away from them. We do things like book appointments for massage or go to the doctor for a digital rectal exam hoping to catch prostate cancer early enough. This is how we relax and practice stress prevention—by doing things in our personal life, taking care of ourselves a certain way, and hopefully benefitting us in the long run.
The problem is that none of these counter measures makes up for the fact that we never learn to be happy with what we have. Our rush for materialistic bliss blindsides us with the harsh reality that we don’t understand anything whatsoever about being truly social (when our noses our pressed against our smart phones while people on either side of us go ignored).
Maybe it’s easier to be insulated from the social media that is life, than it is to let on we don’t care or even “like” the prospect of learning to appreciate what we have before we go out and shop again.
Perhaps even if it’s just for five minutes, shopping can make us feel good about ourselves. I don’t know if this is a valid statement or not, or why it is so if it is, but I’ve come to accept the probability.
This is the part of the post where if I had a tail, I’d be wagging it…in my sleep.