When there is a big trend, eventually everyone wants a part of it. Such has been the effect of the trend from Dependency (a culture where authority was respected and deferred to) to Autonomy (today’s culture where doing your own thing, individualism and entrepreneurship are the goal). This trend was first documented in 1993 by Eric Miller.
But as with all trends, we tend to overshoot. We tend to idealise the trend as THE way to live, the route to happiness. This is what happened as we embraced individualism. The divorce rate grew, one-person businesses became the largest taxpayers in the country, trade unions dissolved, pensions disappeared or diminished, we moved wherever the fancy took us, and we avoided the jobs considered beneath our ideal selves.
Now, scattered as we are around the country and dispersed across occupations, far from our places of origins, we are beginning to get a sense of the cost of our broken ties, our lack of roots and resources.
These resources are particularly missing in the social sphere, evidenced by our need for social media ‘friendships’ where we hope that having a lot of connections will replace the loss of contact.
They will not, they may even make you more isolated as you compare your own shares with the wit and erudition of others. Such is the fear of poor content, being seen as someone with nothing to say, that virtually everyone points their post to third party content, designed to increase their reputation for being ‘in touch with the feeling of what’s happening’. I am no exception, as I suggested, the trend has infected us all.
To be honest 90% of this third party content is rubbish, dancing on a pin-head, eulogising the brilliance of nothing much. Examples: too many to count, here are two from my Linked In feed this morning:
There are things we should be concerned about above the glory of someone’s new job or the fact that women don’t want to invest in the all-male world of banking.
I believe that mums are most effected by the isolation flowing from the new individualism:
And I am not alone: