During my hourly facebook log-in this evening, between friending my father and silently comparing my wedding photos to those of a person I’ve never met (mine are waaay better,) I stumbled upon an article posted by an acquaintance that describes “7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable.” Okay, I’m game. Please, tell me how I can blame all my problems on the era in which I live!
Needless to say, the entire thing infuriated me. To the point where Kyle actually had to pause the Super Bowl on our DVR because he could not hear it over my screeching. To the point where I will now be launching a 7 part series called Seven Reason Smackdown, in which I will tackle each of these 7 reasons, and hopefully kick their collective ass.
So, the article starts out by stating that the reason that we’re all miserable is because we don’t have as many friends as we used to. Apparently, a study was done to prove this:
“Scientists call it the Naked Photo Test, and it works like this: say a photo turns up of you nakedly doing something that would shame you and your family for generations. Bestiality, perhaps. Ask yourself how many people in your life you would trust with that photo. If you’re like the rest of us, you probably have at most two.”
Okay, first off, how is this a bad thing? Do I really need more than 2 people in this world to give such a photo to? And is a friendship any less valuable because you don’t trust them with your donkey show photos? I have dear friends, wonderful friends, friends who I cherish and feel lucky to know, whom I would not entrust with something so shameful. Not because I don’t trust them to keep my secret or because I think that they would think differently of me, but because it’s something that I don’t necessarily want to discuss at all with anyone. Sure, friendship is about being there through both good and bad, but that doesn’t mean that I should have to go around giving all perspective friends a history of every embarrassing thing I’ve ever done. I want people to like me for who I am now, not for who I was five years ago during gorilla suit phase. (Just kidding, mom.) What’s wrong with enjoying a person’s company simply because you both secretly love reality tv? Having a buddy at work that you enjoy talking to? Are those relationships any less important? Besides, even the best of friends accidentally leave things laying out where their roommate’s perverted boyfriend with a donkey fetish might find them…
Reason 1: We don’t have enough annoying strangers in our lives.
According to the article, we have lost our ability to deal with annoyances thanks to tools like the internet and iPods that allow us to filter the annoying out. Therefore, when we are faced with irritants, they (apparently) make us “want to go on a screaming crotch-punching spree.” And this, is 1/7 of the reason why we are miserable.
First of all, I wasn’t aware of the “Annoying Filter” app for facebook or iPhone. My iPod does some pretty awesome things, but it does not by any stretch of the imagination do anything to filter out any substantial amount of annoying people. Play Guster on repeat for 6 hours, yes. Make people quit coming into the store 15 minutes before closing and trying 23 dresses on, no. What about the woman who sat through an entire green light cycle because she was applying eyeliner in her rear view mirror? Our local Walmart with 24 lanes and only 2 of them open? People who get me out of bed at 8am to answer the door so they can ask me if I’ve found Jesus? (Nothing against Jesus, but 8am? Nobody likes Jesus at 8am. Except I guess Catholics…) About the only way my iPod is saving me from experiencing these people is if I throw it at them. And that just makes them angry.
I’m pretty sure the only way that a person can avoid annoyances completely is to stay in one’s house and never leave. Wait, but there’s still those Kid’s Bop commercials on tv that make me want to punch those perky little brats. And the neighbor downstairs who likes to practice the bass at 3am. And my husband, who insists on sleeping with a fan on high despite the fact that it’s 34 degrees outside. Okay, maybe if I just stay in bed…
Even the internet brings its own set of annoyances. People who try and save me from the depths of hell via facebook notes. People who go through my wedding photos and tag my husband and I as Will Smith and a lamp, respectively, in every photo. And anyone who thinks that the internet saves us from being annoyed has obviously never heard of Rickrolling.
What I’m trying to get at is that I don’t believe that we face less annoyances in this day and age due to technology; daily irritants have simply found new formats in which to reach us. People today are no less equipped to deal with obnoxious strangers who talk on their cell phones while they pee in a public restroom than they were with the annoyances of 50 years ago. (You know, hills that go uphill both ways, the lack of shoes, the constant presence of 3 feet of snow, that type of thing.) We’ve just found other ways to cope with them.
Like blogging to strangers about how articles anger me. Doesn’t that feel better? Yes. Yes, it does.