When did not being perfect affect our ability to have fun, to be spontaneous? When did failing become a problem?  Making mistakes become paralysing?
I feel we are failing our youth and our society – our girls , our boys – our phones are more important  than mud, than food, than laughter – we communicate distractedly with one hand on our phone when we walk, talk and eat.
It drives me mad the amount of times people have walked into me, because they are walking whilst looking at their phones, assuming everyone else should walk out of their way because their phone friends are more important than real people! Only yesterday I was in Specsavers and I watched a student receiving information about his prescription and the fact he required glasses for driving, yet he didn’t make eye contact with the optician and continued to text on his phone.
Many of us value our lives in terms of social media worthiness, we are so self obsessed – communicating in hashtags for goodness sake!
When was the last time you sat on a train, a bus and just looked around you “people watching”  – looking at strangers.  This seems like an old fashioned past time now something I still love doing, I make up stories in my head about people, see how others move, listen to the rhythm of the other cultures around me and just listen to my brain chat.
As individuals we no longer explore an idea in the sanctity of our minds, alone – calling on our own ideas, thoughts, feelings, we delegate it to the world, to Google, to our peers, to strangers. if we are unable to explore our won feelings how can we know who we are what we think, what and how others think and that effects our society as a whole.
We fret if we are alone without distractions without our phones – think of the last time you left home without your phone or the battery was dying – how anxious were you? Was your heart pounding, did you break out in a cold sweat – were you trying to work out how to get back home to get it? Do you know your nearest and dearest phone numbers off by heart?
Could this extra 24 hr social media pressure and lack of connection with others and ourselves be a cause of the anxiety and stress our youth are experiencing just in day to day living and growing up?
Universities in the UK are struggling to cope with the increase in students looking for support for mental health issues, 134 students committed suicide in 2015,  and 15, 395 looking for counselling support in their first year at University! [1]
Data released by NHS England under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that 64,765 under-18s, including 3,876 children aged seven to 12 and 315 aged six or younger, were given medication typically used to treat depression and anxiety between April 2015 and March 2016. [2]
It seems perhaps that something in this generation is not allowing our youth to develop their resilience to normal every day stress and anxiety. Just like in nature plants and animals thrive in difficult circumstances, they grow in the dark of winter ready for spring and they develop and evolve coping behaviour.  Our children just aren’t coping and we are each a part of this problem.
As adults we have to set a positive example – it is hard we too have become addicted to our technology , but we are privileged we had a private childhood full of screw ups, we were fallible – we are maybe the last generation who have grown up without technology, without an online footprint to taunts us.
That is a precious gift, yet we moan as parents that social media is to blame, the media is to blame, schol is to blame and people without kids blame parents – the responsibility is ours each and every one of us – it can only have a power over us if we let it – don’t let it.
Nurture a healthy dose of cynicism critical reasoning. Not just passive taking on of information without deciding for yourself if it makes sense.
Connect with you – your Inner compass, does it feel right, does it make you feel good – is it energising you or depleting you.
Disconnect from technology consciously as part of a rebellious act of self care.
New research shows that Epigenetic Memories are passed down 14 successive generations so our DNA influences the DNA of 14 generations ahead of you.  This makes sense to me although I profess to not understanding the terminology outlined in the research.  Epigenetics is the study of the physiological mechanisms that silence or activate genes – so nurture to you and me! [3]
It means each and ever decision you make will influence future generations how you spend your time, what you eat, how you look after your body, your thoughts, how you actually use your brain.
Do write and let me know what you think ? How do you connect and disconnect from the world around you.  What ideas do you have to solve this?
Sources:
[1] http://www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/health/suicides-rates-double-uk-university-students-134-2015-depression-anxiety-services-overwhelmed-a7925631.html
[2] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/18/number-of-under-18s-on-antidepressants-in-england-rises-by-12
[3]  http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/game-changing-study-epigenetic-memories-are-passed-down-14-successive-generations