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To think modern life makes us miserable and unhealthy

(113 Posts)
thedcbrokemybank Fri 24-Feb-17 14:37:04

I am currently doing an Msc. My research at the moment is on depression and there is evidence that environmental stressors in life are contributing to increase incidence of depression which is the biggest cause of burden in high income countries.
There is also evidence to suggest that modern lifestyles Inc diet, technology, increases in sedentarism etc also lead to us being more physically unhealthy and dissatisfied with our lives.
I am a parent and try and give my dc opportunities in life by feeding them a healthy diet, limiting screen time and promoting exercise but I find I am often up against barriers e.g my ds gets called the health police because he doesn't take large bags of sweets etc to activities, he finds he is somewhat socially isolated because I limit his opportunity to play computer games.
AIBU just to up and leave and move us all to a simpler environment, away from a society where measures of success in life are judged on material wealth?

DesignedForLife Fri 24-Feb-17 14:39:04

You're wrong. Modern life is goodish.

BarbaraofSeville Fri 24-Feb-17 14:57:23

Beat me to it Designed.

I do think dependence on screen based entertainment can cause a lot of distress/upset and I say that as someone who spends far too much time on here but can't seem to stop even though I really really want to.

And I hate the way that everywhere you go people seem to be immersed in screens, ignoring the people and world around them.

JaxingJump Fri 24-Feb-17 15:02:30

I think if you are talking about depression I do think modern life has wuite a lot to answer for. Technology has opened s can of worms regarding all the information on what you should have, who you should be, what is right and wrong....creating massive expectations, pressure and dissatisfaction. There are so many sides to this though so it would take a whole book to even hypothesise about it.

TimetohittheroadJack Fri 24-Feb-17 15:03:54

I think modern life beats the olden days hands down. Maybe we all have a little to much time on our hands worrying about limiting screen time etc, but in the olden days we'd be working 15 hrs a day, dying at 40 and praying most of our children lived beyond infant hood.

ArticFox Fri 24-Feb-17 15:04:37

I agree the simple life is a much better life. The stresses and strains of modern life are not good.

We have a homestead in the US and lead. Much simpler life than we did in the U.K. However we do have different stresses like did we chop enough firewood for winter etc

Magicpaintbrush Fri 24-Feb-17 15:08:26

I agree that I think excessive use of technology i.e staring at a screen for hours on end, is not good for your well being or mood. And when technology goes wrong it becomes very obvious just how reliant we are on it these days. And I guess it goes without saying that an unhealthy diet is bad for you. I do wish life could be simpler - there are upsides and downsides to modern life.

NoFuckingRoomOnMyBroom Fri 24-Feb-17 15:11:25

Parts of modern life are good, some are shit.
If a simple life is what you crave then YWNBU to move towards this.
I do think social media has a lot to answer for on the depression front-I have quite a few friends that compare their own lives to those of 'friends' that post all over FB, I simply think that's a snapshot of their lives & the bullshit should be taken with a pinch of salt.

ArticFox Fri 24-Feb-17 15:11:46

I also believe that modern life has really taken away the art of self reliance. With the high population in the U.K, and reliance on tech we don't know how to really deal with problems.

FIL was on a remote road a few days ago his car caught fire. He was 2 hours from help with no phone service. He had to walk a hour in the snow to call us for help. Didn't bother calling the Fire department because by the time they would have got there it would have burnt out.

This weekend we are going to head out and somehow recover what's left of the car.

gillybeanz Fri 24-Feb-17 15:14:44

I think you make your own life to a certain extent.
Do what makes you happy and stay firm with your own values.
Obviously some things are out of your control, but there will be other children like your ds who do eat healthy and don't spend a lot of time on screens.
Encourage him to mix with this type if he is getting lots of peer pressure to conform to values you don't have.
Teach him how to be an individual and not follow like the rest of the sheep.

JaxingJump Fri 24-Feb-17 15:15:36

Artic, your life sounds fascinating!! Where in the US are you?

specialsubject Fri 24-Feb-17 15:20:33

There are activities for kids that dont involve guzzling sweets or playing shoot em ups, and also aren't the horrors of team sports with balls. There are also plenty of places to get outdoors in the UK, fortunately geldof and his
Ilk aren't in charge so we havent built on it all.

If you get out of big cities you also lose advertising which is a great thing.

EssentialHummus Fri 24-Feb-17 15:23:35

Aspects of it, yes. I think the best we can do is be alert to aspects of modern living that are stress-inducing, and avoid them. I found commuting/crowds overwhelming - I'd be drained before I hit my desk. I now WFH, for myself. I get overwhelmed by information online - I've now learnt to recognise when to put down the computer. And so on.

mellowfartfulness Fri 24-Feb-17 15:23:51

Who has ever actually lived the idyllic simple life, though? Maybe there's an argument for trying to rewind certain aspects of our life a few decades. But mostly we don't know how lucky we are, frankly. Obviously things aren't perfect for everyone, but compared to most people in the world and most people throughout history we lead lives of astonishing comfort. Does social media make me feel shit about myself sometimes? Yep. Am I too sedentary? Probably. Would I swap it for any given point in the 20th century? Not really.

I think my generation and my parents' generation have lived through a bit of a golden age. Propped up unsustainably by exploitation of overseas labour and overuse of fossil fuels. We've got very complacent. It's going to end one of these days.

EssentialHummus Fri 24-Feb-17 15:24:14

that are *personally stress-inducing

Tweetme Fri 24-Feb-17 15:24:35

I do wonder this myself but then I have relatives in their seventies who are suffering from depression and family members from the generation before that also did. They did/do not rely on technology, use social media or live sedentary lives.

FeralFanjoFauna Fri 24-Feb-17 15:27:29

Speak for yourself. I'm happy and healthy, as are my children and most of the people I know. There is this notion that people were better off at some undefined point "before", but no-one can ever say when that was. Was it before antibiotics? Before vaccinations? Before food was cheap enough that we can all afford to eat everyday? Before television? Before netflix and chill?
There was never this halcyon time when everything was somehow better.

Coulibri Fri 24-Feb-17 15:28:47

I'll take modern medicine, contraception, votes for women, marital rape being a crime etc etc over the Good Ol' Days any time.

FakenewName Fri 24-Feb-17 15:29:38

Yes I think you are right thedcbrokemybank - expectations and the pressures we put on ourselves are ridiculous - MODERN LIFE IS DESTROYING OUR MENTAL HEALTH

When you think of previous generations, my grandmas day, the only expectation was she clean house and cook the evening meal and look after the children. She was a house wife, that was her job. The house was spotless at all times and kids were allowed out to play in the streets and walked themselves to school and back. Kids were given responsibilities and expected to chip in with chores and do paper rounds etc. A hot home cooked meal awaited the kids and husband on their return each evening

Fast forward to my life - My generation are expected to be out of the house for 12 hours per day at work, and then come home and raise perfectly well behaved cherubs who have been in a kids club since 06.30am. You get home, sort the kids out, perhaps run Tarquin to his ballet lesson, and make a make a nutritious meal (which HAS to be from scratch darrrling). Most spare time evenings and weekends is spent on housework trying to keep on top of things my grandma spent an entire fucking week doing. You have to do all this, whilst giving your husband extremely good sex 3 times a week.

Oh, and everyone, literally everyone is critical of you, including yourself - you always feel a failure, and guilty. Guilty because you put a mini roll in Tarquins packed lunch box and the school lunch box police sent you a letter(!?) Guilty because instead of chopping up vegetables for tonight's gluten free vegan meal, you give the kids a packet of biscuits and send them off to bed so you can start on the vodka and sit at the dining table in tears wondering where the fuck it all went wrong.

Any spare time you do have, is spent on social media looking at complete rubbish/pictures of ex boyfriends or screaming into your pillow because life is just so futile and you can't remember the last time you did anything fun or even anything you wanted to do?!

Our kids have far less freedom than we did as kids, they are pampered and helicoptered around and we are raising a generation of less than capable adult babies who cannot think for themselves and are going to drag their childhood well into their 30s and furthermore later in life this will drag us down as they will be struggling to deal with adulthood forever more - we will never have any decent pension pot when we eventually do retire at age 90 because our useless middle aged off-spring will be constantly at us for money as they cannot ''do life'' as we never were able to fully prepare them for what being an adult meant

All anyone cares about is owning a house and buying 'stuff' and most people seem unable to zoom out and see the bigger picture

Yes modern life actually fucking sucks - we put too much pressure on ourselves and I think there is so much bollocks and high horsing done by women - TO other women, because they have this image of living in a perfect life when they don't realize there is no such thing

FakenewName Fri 24-Feb-17 15:31:15

I'll take modern medicine, contraception, votes for women, marital rape being a crime etc etc over the Good Ol' Days any time You are literally talking hundreds of years ago with most of that, I think the OP meant a bit less distant past - well that's the way I read

skerrywind Fri 24-Feb-17 15:32:12

No- technology gives us massive freedoms.

I was a child in a council estate in the 60s- if you really want to see what a miserable and unhealthy life was like.

BackforGood Fri 24-Feb-17 15:34:02

I agree with mellow

Very dubious about your claim that 'depression is the biggest cause of burden' though.

Of course if you want to seek a "simpler life" - whatever that might mean - then YANBU to do so, but personally, I rather like my home comforts, and can't group all technology into one 'evil' thing - quite the contrary in fact.

highinthesky Fri 24-Feb-17 15:34:38

I get your point OP, but just let your kids be normal. You can live the simple life you crave when they leave home, and they can make that choice too once they're grown up. Let "Toxic Childhood" outline your boundaries.

I like to think I live a simple (non-materialistic) life, but I wouldn't inflict it on others!

FakenewName Fri 24-Feb-17 15:35:46

let your kids be normal


FeralFanjoFauna Fri 24-Feb-17 15:36:00

When you think of previous generations, my grandmas day, the only expectation was she clean house and cook the evening meal and look after the children. She was a house wife, that was her job

How nice for your Granny. However, my granny, like many many other women, also had a job AND had to do all that too. Plus she didn't get maternity pay, equal pay, rights we take for granted, and help with the housework or children (cos men didn't do that). Neither did she have any of our modern conveniences, the pill, or Facebook, which frankly she would have liked, had she had time to sit down pretty much ever.

This is the point, that was not a utopia where all women stayed home and kids were rosy cheeked cherubs playing foot ball in the street!

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