the Guardian article about teens who think life isn't worth living

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/feb/05/youth-unhappiness-uk-doubles-in-past-10-years

How do you argue with that, tho? I don't think you can. It isn't! Old people are lying bastards.

(Yes I am including me among the old)

The desperation to blame this on social media rather than the systematic impoverishment of the young to support the bloated privilege of the old is just pathetic. 

agreed, also

being alive is just a bit shyt

you find your way and make the best of things and seek comfort where possible but

fundamentally it's just a traumatic cannonball run into the grave

I am not sure why we have to pretend there's some amazing right way to live that they are missing

objectively, life probably isn't "worth living" if you work it all out on a pain/pleasure/success/failure/happy/unhappy balance sheet basis. 

But the learning point is that it is not about "happiness" and that a lack of happiness is not indicative of failure, redundancy or pointlessness. It is entirely inappropriate to raise children to believe that, when teenagers, they should be awash with joy.

What they need as teens is the support and dialogue to enable them to navigate the confusion of emotions, friendships, enemies, loyalties and betrayals during the adolescent period. People of that age can be exceptionally brutal to each other in a way that adults usually stop short of.  We need to teach them  coping techniques (which above all means communication with parents and mentors) and then they will not be necessarily happier or feel that live is more "worth living" but they will be less destabilised by the slings and arrows etc.

well yes but fundamentally it is problematic to ask people "do you think life is worth living" because it isn't. And then when you have asked the question and they have answered there is nowhere left to go.

I agree.  Shite research with closed questions gives universal narrow answer non shocker.

Like if you say to all those between the age of 16 and 18 "do you consider yourself rich" and 99 percent say definitely not, is the headline "Vast Majority of Today's Youth On Poverty Line"?

Clergs... ...you worry me sometimes. I realise you honestly feel that life is "a traumatic cannonball run into the grave" and with that mindset it probably will be for you.

What isn't really explained in that article is the root source of the anxiety they are feeling... ...the root source of most anxiety is fear, but here no emotional states are linked to their responses... ...very frustrating.

I am not sure why we have to pretend there's some amazing right way to live that they are missing

 

 

This is where the social media issue has a case to answer, but no more so than advertising in broadcast and print media which was an issue for my generation and remains so for everyone since.  It is something that has grown since the 1960s and has now snowballed aggressively in the last 15 years.

It is about portraying lifestyles of the rich, famous, successful, pretty etc in an entirely unrealistic way, but increasingly bombarding people with messages of perfection, pictures and vlogs by people showing you how you should or could be when you cannot. These become goals and self esteem is marked down accordingly when they cannot be achieved. Social media and the pushing of this information, the "judging" culture of reality television and twitter, the instant gratification or humiliation and the fact that your entire network is alerted to your moment of disgrace (when it was intended they would celebrate your success) is just making the whole thing far more acute, instant and impactful for this generation of teenagers. 

fluffy - "the reality you perceive is only that way because of your PERCEPTION" is the most irritating stalinist attitude

life is horrible. Previous generations were very very very open about that. In other parts of the world they still are.

the state of existing is a natural anxiety inducer

Have only skimmed the article, but it does raise an interesting thought about the future.

You can already see a backlash starting against facetagramsapp.

There's an increasing recognition that the people who run social media platforms basically behave like cartoon versions of tobacco conglomerates and drug cartels, trying to figure out how to make their product secretly more addictive, and smuggle it into our homes inside hollowed out children.

I wonder if in ten years time, we'll see that come to fruition, and teens will actually start to play outside, and in person, and fall off things, and eat mud instead of posting pouty faces on instafart.

I agree that life isn't a big barrel full of roses and puppies (or that if it is, some of the puppies are dead and the barrel has been in the sun for a while), and some periods of life are really quite difficult, but I do also agree that you can influence (not control, but influence) how you react to much of what happens.

The English language has more synonyms than antonyms for happiness.

Ofc you can. Mitigation is possible for almost everyone. 

But making a bad thing less bad doesn't make it good.

Yeah let's get back to the good old days, when teens got outside to hang around on park benches smoking cigarettes, got drunk underage every weekend to numb the sheer boredom and had the police called on them whenever they gathered in groups of more than 4. 

If the sample population in the study had been sheltering a some Yemeni rubble wondering where their next meal was coming from then that is an anxiety inducer...

...what I'm not getting from this survey is an understanding about why 18% are is suicidal because someone in their instagram group has just had their eyebrows tattooed. 

you don't have to be suicidal to think that life isn't worth living

those are two different things

OK...

...what I'm not getting from this survey is an understanding about why 18% think life isn't worth living because someone in their instagram group has just had their eyebrows tattooed. 

the point is that the percentage has increased from 9 to 18 and what has changed since then?

I would say it's that young people are more realistic now and less sheltered from what adult life will be like

It's pretty hard to look at tattooed eyebrows tbf Fluffs, they make one's brain itch.

I know someone with tattooed eyebrows and it is weird. Apparently they wear off ??!

OK, bear in mind i'm on the "life is happyhappyshiny" side of this debate today, but this:

"...what I'm not getting from this survey is an understanding about why 18% think life isn't worth living because someone in their instagram group has just had their eyebrows tattooed. "

That's pretty feckin self-explanatory isn't it?  The existence of microblading rather speaks to the pointlessness of our species doesn't it?

Where once we famed our greatest bards, our greatest thinkers, our greatest artists, our greatest leaders...now it is those with the greatest eyebrows.

It's changed from 9% to 18% since 2009. 

You might be inclined to blame this on the rise of Instagram, but you might also note that in 2010 university tuition fees went up from £3,000 a year to £9,000 a year and the price of houses started to increase by 10% annually. 

I would say that social media makes it easy to aggregate and then propose 'perfection' as a goal... ...when that perfection is, for the most part, concocted there is a double distortion.

This massively increases uncertainty about how to move forward... ...easy access to the density of that uncertainty has only arrived with this generation but their ability to deal with uncertainty is trailing way way behind, which is not their fault.

I don’t understand the ‘objectively not worth living’ approach, mutters  

Can you conceive of never having existed?

No. It begs the question.   

So how can you make the comparison?

I think the worse impact of the internet is the total lack of certainty that comes from having too much information

nobody can be confident of any truth

anyway, never mind perfection, what about the many decades of boredom, pain and solitude to come

it's not that hard to imagine never having existed

I think some (many?) people have a spark of hubris ("I AM I AM I AM") and that just keeps the engine running until it doesn't

we are all just animals, one day someone might farm and eat us

 

You and your relentless optimism, you cheeky wee fun bundle.

I just think that's realistic. Eat things to make you taste bad, that's my advice.

If you’re going to carry on this terminable depressed service droid act then at least make it realistic. 

Top of the food chain, man. Top of the food chain.

apparently octupuses could beat us if they would learn to co-operate

I am bracing myself

My sister is a natural history film director (BBC NHU).  A few years ago she made a series with the Discovery Channel called Discover. Discover Octopus was an interesting one.  At one point they showed a film taken from inside an aquarium in San Francisco.  It was CCTV from inside a shed on the wharf. They had caught an octopus that was going to be put in a tank with others, but it was in a decontamination tank, with a glass pane on top with a brick on top of that. At one point the octopus takes a huge gulp of water and extends a tentactle, pushes the lid up, another tentacle slides the brick, then out he gets with his reverse-scuba system allowing him to travel over the floor while still getting o2 from the water. He makes it out of the door, down the boardwalk to a fish factory next door, grabs a couple, strolls back

here's hoping they never get a taste for human flesh!

sorry, strolls back, hops up into the tank, puts the lid and brick back and eats the fish.

The reason they found this is that they noticed a fish tail in the tank, so assumed someone had been feeding it, and wanted to know who had been messing, so they watched the CCTV and having seen what occurred with the tank they watched the tape for the one outside the shed. Gobsmacked.

THese fuckers then mess with us by predicting the progress of the German team in the world cup.  When they get online we are fucked. SEcond in the foodchain, M8s, tip top second.

sorry, strolls back, hops up into the tank, puts the lid and brick back and eats the fish.

The reason they found this is that they noticed a fish tail in the tank, so assumed someone had been feeding it, and wanted to know who had been messing, so they watched the CCTV and having seen what occurred with the tank they watched the tape for the one outside the shed. Gobsmacked.

THese fuckers then mess with us by predicting the progress of the German team in the world cup.  When they get online we are fucked. SEcond in the foodchain, M8s, tip top second.

I have read that in terms of biomass, giant squid are the most populous animal on the planet

cephalopods are ace.  Octopus, squid, cuttlefish - spectacularly unorthodox species.   I assume they are actually aliens which have decided to take up residence on the wet side of the planet, but their time will come, then they will rise up the beaches and wreak a terrifying havoc.  They have a beak like a parrot deep in their digestive tract.  Powerful suckers. Chromatophors allow them to change hue in pattern with each other. No skeleton, just some cartilaginous framework like collar stiffeners.  They can collapse into all sorts of shapes so a big octopus can get in through the opening of a bottle and sit in the main part looking smug.

 

 

That's an admirable amount of detail added to a completely apocryphal story that's been doing the rounds for decades.

Google Dumbo Octopus. Nothing that sweet could harm us. 

 

(Sorry, no idea how to post pics)

Mutts, you know that cats have collapsible rib cages? If they join forces with cephalopods we’re doomed. When evil meets squashy. 

she made the film in the 90s, I posted that story here before. It is not apocryphal. You're talking to the brother of the source of this one.  Also a lot of footage on that final prog of them travelling overground from rock pool to rock pool carrying water to "breathe" and raiding the pools for crustaceans, then slinking back into the surf.  These guys need watching.

she made the film in the 90s, I posted that story here before. It is not apocryphal. You're talking to the brother of the source of this one.  Also a lot of footage on that final prog of them travelling overground from rock pool to rock pool carrying water to "breathe" and raiding the pools for crustaceans, then slinking back into the surf.  These guys need watching.

Stuff like this really annoys me. I have seen some pretty awful parts of the world where conditions for everyone are harder and teens would have a much different existence. This bunch really don't know how lucky they are to have been born in a 1st world democracy. Yes it is easier for some teens than others, yes tuition fees are a bit crap, but really?! You want to see hard and feel like life is not worth living. Go say that to someone living in the DRC and you won't have to wait long for the slap that follows.

so young people get their values from the internet ( and its not just social media) instead of their parents and they dont have enough life experience to see the falsehoods.

Im afraid I’m blaming the parents.

Muttley it's a story that's been doing the rounds since literally the late 1800s when Brighton aquarium said one of their octopuses was doing it.

If it had been caught on camera the footage would be available online, and it isn't. You can find pretty easily on Google multiple instances of people looking into the story and finding no real evidence of it being true, let alone there being filmed evidence

There's more studies which show that the mental wellbeing of young people who grew up with social media is much worse that previous generations. It impacts girls way more than boys. Numbers of depressed, anxious or self-harming girls have doubled. I also believe that the link to social media has been proven but I'm not sure I could find the source for that one.

In that light some of the responses here are a bit baffling. Blame the parents, the baby boomers, life in general, the snowflakes.... But who is willing to take on social media or tell their kids 'no' when it comes to participating?

 

blindtom I agree objectively but it's like your parents telling me when I was little that I should eat all my food as Ethiopian children would love what I was given. It's meaningless when put in a real world context.

I think young people are actually being hurt by a constant, desperate need to mollify and protect them from nastiness, while simultaneously telling them that effectively they are special, unique and are never but a few steps away from being a youtube superstar or celeb.

Of course it's depressing when you find out the world isn't a cloud of marshmallows.

Wilfred send them to visit Middlesbrough and they will come back thinking life isn't so bad. If they are already from Middlesbrough maybe they had a point.

The problem is that social media appeals to the absolute basest parts of human nature. And once you’ve mobilised that monster it’s lethal all round. Government is distracted and plainly doesn’t understand the issue anyway. And by the very nature of the beast, if you make a stand you are self identifying as not fitting in. And everyone wants to fit in. When they have no moral fibre and are not encouraged to develop any. 

Hmm.

On the one hand I do think it is lazy to blame social media for depression and anxiety in young people. It ignores the elephant in the room, which is that getting into a decent career path requires a much greater level of practical, emotional and financial investment than it did in previous years (sky high student debt to even have a crack at getting an entry level job in many sectors, and limited opportunities for those who can't or choose not to do so), and that salaries have simply not kept pace with housing and living costs. I can completely understand why a 25 year old with 40 grand's worth of student debt doing an entry level job and still living at home might feel like a failure when their less well educated parents were home owners with established careers at their age. It can feel like a pit of despair, where the only hope of ever getting out of it depends on being given a tidy sum of money by parents or other relatives.

On the other hand, social media is a bit of a fucker. I was anxious and awkward enough as a teen without my every bad hair cut or bout of acne or social faux pas being played out on the internet. If a kid is being bullied at school, in previous generations they could go home and at least feel safe (if not happy) until the following morning. Now there's no escape from it. And the internet in general (not just social media) exposes young people to things they're not emotionally ready to be exposed to. (The impact of internet porn on teenagers' sexual relationships is horrific, and puts me off having children. How on earth do you keep them safe from that?)

I don't agree with Clergs' view that life is fundamentally not worth living, but I can't say the fact that young people feel that more now than they did 10 years ago is remotely surprising.

Surely children, teens, 20sths are more directly affected by comparisons with their peers than with their own parents?

I guess they are, but you can't quite separate it out as easily as that.

Like, if you're 25 and you see an acquaintance of yours bragging on social media about "finally" being a homeowner with the obligatory "holding the keys" pose outside their new front door, you know it's 99% likely that they've been given a wodge of cash and so you will be comparing your life to their life but powerless to do anything about it.

parents are more relevant now that the current young generation knows it will have a worse quality of life than their parents did

removes sense of momentum and purpose, slow and inevitable failure

And that’s always been the case. 

The difference now is worrying your mates are more likely to think less of you because the comparison is more clearly public.

People are proper coco loco at the moment. 

Wander what's gonna be the spark that sets it all off (hmmmmm)? 

 

Everything seems in flux: 

Lefties have never been more left, righties never more right. Centre ground is dead.

We keep getting told everything is changing but the change is both too fast and too slow. This either leaves people behind or rushes them through something they're not ready for. 

People are fucking greedier. Why does any residential penthouse need to be sold for 200 million odd

Social media just magnifies all the above

 

Agree bam, and it will be race that kicks it off imho, for reasons we’ve discussed before - always bubbling under and now has excuse to surface. Blame the EU for ‘making us take forrins’, then a ‘bad deal’, then - to come - recession. I said this after the ref and sadly see no reason to alter that view. 

Cookie sun are you tempted to relocate? Even if just for 6 months a year? 

 

 

Some of us are still in the centre.  over.

it's cold here. over.

pls send help.  over.

Wang this is not a rugby thread. It is warmer in the scrum, though. 

This is a totally ridiculous way of assessing it. U should assess life happiness on a minute by minute basis. There are 1440 minutes in a day.

1) do u enjoy sleep? Me: yes. It’s glorious. That’s c.400 minutes of happiness.

2) do u enjoy food? Me: yes. Sensational, love food. That’s c.120 minutes of happiness.

3) do u enjoy hot drinks? Me: yes. Mr coffee you’re so frothy get in my face. That’s c.60 minutes of happiness.

4) do u enjoy your commute? Me: parts of it - e.g. trolling rightards on social media, but mostly no. So roughly 15 minutes of happiness (out of 80 minutes commute).

5) do u enjoy work? Me: some of it. Roughly 70/30, with the 30% predominantly being the politics. So that’s roughly 350 minutes of happiness (and 150 minutes of shit).

6) talking of shit, do u enjoy a dump? Me: yes, and taking time over it. That’s c.30 minutes of happiness.

7) do u enjoy evenings slumped on the sofa? Me: yes, what’s not to like? That’s c. 150 minutes of happiness.

 

So in a working day, ok im clocking up on average something like 215 minutes of unhappiness. 3.5 hours. But that’s versus c.1100 minutes of happiness. And some time left over. So getting on for 80% of my life is pure happiness, even on work days.

life is not crap when 80% of it is happiness. Life is very much worth living.

cba to read the article but if all of those teens went on a rampage and killed 20 of their peers and then themselves it could only be a positive development 

They are difficult issues. I am very happy. I am not making tha tup or pretending or faking it. I am. I think muttley and Rham aren't. It may be how you are born or just bad luck.  Quite a few teenagers are happy but it is certainly a time when lots of young people have always been unhappy as hormones surge (and also they can be very very very happy - in love Romeo and Juliet style etc too).

 

However whether people are happy o rnot in most studies does not particualr correlate to income or having a fancy pair of trainers. You can be happier if you are outside a fair bit or move around running, walking, sex  or whatever or when you get totally engrossed in something you enjoy like a good book, film or computer game or even work (flow).

 

I have been even happir since my periods stopped at 55 by the way - who knew that menopause was the route to personal happiness and nirvana but it is. No PMT even now.

That is nice to know, Lydia. Worry a bit about that if I make it that far!

strutter05 Feb 19 11:01

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You and your relentless optimism, you cheeky wee fun bundle.

 

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heh

I love myself an octopus. not for eating, for looking at. we should prohibit the killing of octopi. I don't think there are enough of them