One of the many trending articles out at the moment about my generation; (Gen Y) describes the situation where many of us over-scehdule the number of commitments that we have, weather it be work, social, career or general extra-curricular activity, simply in our fear to avoid "missing out" or letting other's "beat us in the curve". You can find the article for yourself here:
It further denotes our inability as a society to switch off, in both physical and metaphorical interpretations, from our phones, technology and everyday life itself. We enjoy being busy, it claims, and are blind to its external side-effects of stress, constant comparisons amongst our peers and the pressures in this new world of job scarcity, financial insecurity and barrage of commercialism and materialism penetrating our wants, ideas of self worth and priorities in life. I'm here to say that particularly in my circumstance, this article is simultaneously the most correct and blatantly false article I have read in a while.
On one hand, let me state that as with many of my friends, I like being busy. It keeps our mind nimble with a variety of things, whether it be helping my friends make videos towards our YouTube channel (Asian Boss), working for Google, or sparring others in weekly Taekwondo sessions. Being busy fulfils two aspects for me; Foremost it keeps me creative in my pursuits (as sort of a way to occupy time in a relatively productive manner) and secondly it lets me step closer to realising my life goal: which is to change the way the world sees Asian youth. (How I do that is a completely different matter, I'm trying out the media and NGO methods before I graduate).
And it is also true, that I find it hard sometimes to switch off. I inherently adore technology, the new advances in touch screen capabilities, Near Field Communication, cross platform apps etc. that have made our lives easier to communicate with and stay connected. And of course with these constant need for connection it does dilute some of the more organic sentiments of friendship which I have held dear so much, and the stress that comes along with it is something that occasionally burdens us with mental strains that may last days on end. Sometimes I indeed do overburden myself with commitments and 'drop my bundle', trying to focus on too many goals at once and thus leaving them all to waste.
But on the other hand, the one thing I believe this article doesn't articulate well is that for many of us, we intrinsically understand what we are getting ourselves into. The constant need for comparison we have all felt from youth we understand now to be a psychological trait we carry with us everywhere but dilutes as we grow older. The stress that comes with attempting to be everywhere at once is the price we way for fitting in our schedules tight with things that we want to do and chances of meeting the right people perhaps, that we want to take.
We are not some mindless sheep that are unable to see the consequences of the actions that we take in this high connected, technologically savvy modern world. While part of this may be my hubris of youth speaking, I think we have come a long way and adapted well in a rapidly changing world to be able to tackle any new possibility or threat that the world may throw at us. I guess I simply feel that we don't need old media to patronise us in how we use our time to self develop and invest in our selves. Bring on the new world.