There are many positive things you can say about modern society in which we live, but its impact on us can sometimes cause more harm than good. This damage is usually something that we may be unaware of because we “follow the herd” and adopt hollow values and misconceptions that place more emphasis on everything that isn’t important. If we know how to identify these behaviors and learn why they are so harmful to our personal well-being, we can make our lives and the world better. Therefore, we encourage you to read about the 7 conceptions of life that modern society is trying to impose upon all of us, so that you can shake off them and live your life in the way that best suits you.
1. A successful person needs an apartment, a car, and a new cell phone
Consumer culture is a very large part of our modern society, so if we meet someone who owns their own apartment, car and the newest mobile phone, we’ll probably see them as successful. But does such property make a person successful? What about their relationship status? Their debt? Their ability to enjoy life? All of these are of no less importance than the things they own, but nevertheless, we hardly think about them… This perception is important to change, because the things we acquire, even if they are evidence of being in an excellent economic situation and not just reckless purchases leading to debt, are not what define us or the people around us.
2. Life needs to be documented on social networks
This is a misconception that has become an inseparable part of many people’s lives, and even though most people are aware of this, they make no effort to change. These are the people who take pictures of all their meals before they start eating, take mirror selfies regularly, and generally are unable to disconnect from their Facebook account or their Instagram. These people are so concerned about nurturing themselves in the virtual space that they sometimes hurt themselves and the people around them in a variety of ways, some of which are felt more and some less.
At the most serious levels, such behavior can lead to the development of depression and narcissism, which is why it’s very important that we all work, collectively and individually, on reducing this habit significantly. Just ask your family members or friends to stop doing these things, and if they’re evasive or a reluctant to respond, confront them with the fact that they are damaging your relationship and your time in favor of meaningless likes.
3. We all need to be like celebrities
More and more people, especially young people, try to live their lives as celebrities do, almost imitating them. This is a very familiar and negative phenomenon that many social researchers and psychologists have tried to explain and change, and it is very easy to understand why. First, it’s clear to all that the average young person doesn’t have the time, the money, or the support that would allow for the wild and exaggerated lifestyle certain celebrities appear to live. Second, the inability to perfectly mimic the example that celebrities exhibit causes many to feel miserable and develop feelings of inferiority. To avoid this, all we have to do is tell ourselves and our children that we need to be who we are. True, long-term happiness won’t exist in people trying to be something or someone they aren’t.
4. Parenting is a competition
Our children are part of us, that every parent knows, and this statement has wonderful effects on our lives, but in modern society, there are also a few negatives… One of the big ones is that many parents think they need to do everything for their child: Buy them the best new toys, guide them at every crossroads in their lives, etc. With all these demands, when do you have time as parents to spend with the whole family walking around the neighborhood, or maybe getting involved in an activity that helps you recharge?
The simple answer, of course, is that you won’t have time if this is how you live your life. When people don’t devote time to these activities, they hurt themselves and their families significantly. These anxious parents should be reminded that parenting isn’t a competition with the other parents at school. If they see that another family has a better stroller or takes professional family photographs, they don’t have to be jealous of them and aspire to do the same things – you can simply compliment them and move on in life.
5. Academic degrees are the key to success
Over the years, our society has developed a certain obsession with academic degrees. But the reality today is that there is no truth to the claim that a person without a degree is less successful than those with an advanced education of one kind or another, and in many professions where the salary is high and the conditions are good there are no such requirements. Of course, it is important to learn and acquire knowledge that will enable a person to make a living, but we shouldn’t put down honest fields of work that may not be as prestigious as others. Because without them, and the people who chose them, we wouldn’t be able to live the way we do.
6. We’re all in the rat race for the best job
The following problematic approach is characteristic of people who have already chosen their field of work and found their first job, but after a short time, feel the need to quit. This may be due to the desire to be better valued, rewarded and skilled all too quickly, without the accumulation of experience and the long practice required to reach this goal – a classic feature of the “instant culture” in which everything needs to be done, acquired, and achieved as quickly as possible. Modern society pushes us to succeed at a speed that doesn’t necessarily fit us, our profession or the labor market, and people who are constantly moving from one job to another in pursuit of money and honor may miss valuable opportunities. Of course, there’s also no reason to remain in inadequate or non-rewarding positions, but they should be left only if they are truly such positions and not just because of pressure of one kind or another.
7. Personal comfort is more important than anything else
If a young woman slips down the street and falls straight into a huge puddle, people are more likely to take their smartphones out of their pocket and take pictures of her rather than help her. At the same time, many others will keep walking without giving the girl another look and only a few will stop and offer her help. It may be difficult for you to accept this statement, but unfortunately, it is closer to the truth we’d like to admit.
The reason for this situation is probably the vast focus of most people on their personal comfort – I feel bad for the young woman who fell into the puddle, but I’m late for a meeting / on a call with my manager / want to get home to rest. When we have these thoughts in mind, we have to try and put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and remember that the little inconveniences we experience or put ourselves through are what make our world a more beautiful place. It is very important that our lives be comfortable, that we arrive on time wherever we need and that we get to all our tasks, but it is just as important to, first of all, be kind!