Despite remarkable increased comfort and technology evolution at various levels (medicine, science, health, etc), easier access to information and knowledge, infinite possibilities to raise your voice using social media or other platforms, there are worrying signs this generation might be going at high speed against the wall. Or, instead getting benefits of those advances, is being its own victim losing quality of life compared to previous generations.
Let me put this in some practical terms:
- Real estate prices. It’s a fact past generations would be able to buy a house only at a very later stage of their life. But if you look at real estate and its coefficient evolution in pricing/costs, prices almost doubled in two or three decades, much above inflation or salary increases.
- Precarious jobs. Internships, short term contracts, agencies, easy layoffs. Looks like we lost the fight.
- Increasing divorces. Signs of the speed, stress and our individual busy life’s. No patience. It’s becoming a individual or selfish society.
- Late personal life/engagement. First the studies (more and more expensive), than the job (more and more precarious), than the flat (more and more expensive) and only afterwards the family. “I” becomes more relevant than anything else.
- Today’s hobbies: Videogames, getting drunk fast, recording insane videos. Dating sites.
- Diseases: New trends like Burn out, stress, depression, strokes, cholesterol, diabetes. All linked to the speed of our days, the need to outperform our peers.
- Fears. Of losing our job, of being unsuccessful, of failing in our projects, of not being able to cope with the speed of this crazy world. Of failure or being a “loser” at society eyes. Of not having the right job, the right wife or the bigger house.
- No more playing on the streets. It’s dangerous. Full of traffic, risk of accidents, being kidnaped or abused.
- No more creativity (as we knew it). We buy everything build and ready to play. We don’t even take the time to read the instructions. Plug and play, don’t make me think.
- Food: Junk food everywhere. Appealing, extremely aggressive and efficient marketing. And supported by our time limitations, cost, practicality and way of life.
- Pension at later age and no guarantee that it will be there. Most of the countries have a negative balance on their pension budgets, raising high concerns for future generations on the access to their life savings.
Is there hope? There certainly is. We see a growing appetite for “bio” products. Bio shops and “directly from the farmer” are growing concepts. We see more people moving from big cities to live in the country side. Instead of spending holidays in big resorts, going to agro tourism. Houses build with noble materials. The “sharing economy” growing and becoming a reference in the most different sectors. Yes there is hope, and that’s the ability of mankind. To adapt. First we pollute (air, water, land and so on) and then we spend thousands to bring them to life again. All generations encountered big challenges at their levels (war, disputes, diseases, natural disasters) but when we think we reach a certain level of evolution and comfort, let’s not take it for granted. There are always backsides of our lifestyle that future generations will have to deal with. For better or for worse.