Monday, 30 January 2017

my generation

There was a beautiful film shown at Christmas called Ethel and Ernest, an animation about Raymond Briggs parents.  I loved everything about the film, I loved how they were house proud and you saw Ethel putting fresh flowers on the table every week. Also how they completely loved each other, they stayed married through thick and thin.  They had the war to deal with, sending their only child away to strangers, their own house getting blown up, there was so much to contend with.
The thing I took from this was how they dealt with the pressure, very keep calm and carry on. After the bomb raids they would sweep their front door step, and literally carry on with the meals for that day or the work that had to get done. There were times that you saw them upset and struggling, as it was extreme times they were having to face, but nothing was dramatised, which I feel was the reason people were able to pull through.
We are bombarded by the news, which for the most part is generally always negative, then on top of that we have the social media feeds which either are people commenting about their bad day or their good day which can also make us feel bad about ourselves if we are having a shit one, or ours doesn't match up to it!
 It is having a huge effect on my generation, it creates a ripple of depression. I find our social media has allowed us to see too much, to know too much, and it has affected our way of handling things and we blow things out of proportion.  And how we are there for each other these days has changed, you get a text are you ok? which don’t get me wrong is lovely, but the face to face interaction has gone.  Everyone is so busy, but also not busy at the same time. Checking in with the world is checking through your phone instead of actually checking in. I know I am not the first one to bring up these points and wont be the last. But I felt compelled to write about it as so many of my friends myself included are being affected in ways we don’t know how to handle. I have watched loads of friends who are my age or younger crack under the pressure close their businesses or like me burn out. And we blame ourselves because we aren't good enough.
So what do we do? all become hermits? no because wonderful things do come about from social media, look at the recent women's march in London those two organisers met through social media. And those crowds grew because the word was spread through social media.
It is trying to separate what is going on in your life from what is going on in others. I have turned off every notification, so I choose when to check in. I still check in too much, I have started carrying round a book again so when I am waiting for things I am reading instead of scrolling.
And its not just about filtering what you take in from your tablet, its people too. I have noticed more and more because of the pressure to be great right now is huge on social media, it filters into comments. I get it ALOT, for example, 'you are not represented by a gallery yet?' no but I have had a solo show in Japan and in Bath and they both sold out. But because I haven't got a gallery I am still not good enough, and my good points are disregarded. Do you see where I am going with this, something I am proud of,  I am made to feel I need to of done more, because people have this impossible view of success now, because we are bombarded with everything we should have done already.  So we get into this mind set because you could ignore a couple of comments, but when there are several this attitude sinks in. We are always striving for the next thing, the next goal, the next dream. And it creates this unhappy environment which I am desperate to break free from and I think a lot of my friends are too. How do we do it people?

Picture: still from Ethel and Ernest

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