OPINION: 'Our priorities are all wrong' - Daisy Snow

North Devon Gazette

Likes, lip fillers, fake tan, influencers, fast fashion, Netflix, celebrities, soap operas, perfect eyebrows… some of the many things consuming the time, money, and headspace of our generation, and for what, self-assurance? distraction? or from the systems point of view…GDP? Long gone are the days where our time was dedicated to growing food, raising animals and children, cooking, harvesting, preparing logs, and what may appear as progress on the face value, surely isn’t if people aren’t as happy?Â

From a young age, we are conditioned to follow one path: going to university, getting into huge debt for a degree in something we are unlikely to make a career out of, resulting in getting a 9-5 job at some point, doing something we don’t enjoy, one holiday a year perhaps. This path breeds unhappiness and whilst going through school I experienced unimaginable negativity from most of my teachers when I dared say I didn’t want to go on this path.Â

The system is designed to set us up to fail, and by fail, I mean to be unhappy. So, we must conform, get into debt, consume things we don’t actually need as false remedies for our deep-rooted disconnection with what is actually important and then be prescribed antidepressants to mask the fact that really our whole lifestyles need to change.Â

After many years of travelling to India, I’ve been asked the question, ‘but does seeing poverty not make you sad?’ Countless times. There are areas where yes, of course it does, however, my general response has always been ‘people are a lot happier there than they are here’. In areas less developed than the UK the age-old priorities still remain the same, life is about living, in the actual raw sense of ‘staying alive’, and I personally don’t believe that is a bad thing.Â

We’ve been made to believe that 'success' relates to things money can buy, appearances, designer clothes, flash cars, eating out, but imagine if ‘success’ was measured in terms of happiness. Our culture has taught the answer to a question like ‘How’s your son doing?’ To be answered in relation to how he is doing in his career path, when simply an answer relating to how happy he is in life at that point in time would actually be more genuinely meaningful.Â

Social media is the latest delivery method now being used to brainwash, advertise the ‘ideal’, and then push consumption. Celebrities and influencers with huge followings of young people can merely post a ‘tasteful’ picture wearing this week's latest trends available from one of the many fast-fashion sites, and it sells.Â

There’s no substance in any of these posts and images, no motive other than to sell, but people are engaged, they are avid followers and fans, and this madness is a multi-billion pound industry. Today my friend, song writer Victor Evtikhiev sang me some verses from something he had recently written, the lyrics that stuck with me were; ‘What I don’t get is these little influencers, doing nothing influential, nothing but fast fashion posts and acting like they’re special’. We should be worried that the inspiration of our generation has little substance and pushes damaging ideas of ‘perfection’ on young people, and even more damaging ideas of consumption on our delicate planet.Â

Our convenient lifestyle has caused a disconnection with nature, the seasons, the weather, we no longer directly depend on these things to live, but of course, we do still all depend on these things to live, it just no longer affects us in our day to day lives. Ignorance is bliss.Â

Nature and simple living have a lot of basic pleasures to offer us daily, it gives us a lot to appreciate, but with our heads buried in the light of our iPhones, we miss the likes of new primroses popping up in the light of the sun, the power of the wind, and the way the trees rustle.Â

Our alienated, consumer-driven lifestyle has us not present and focusing on insignificant things such as the latest trends on TikTok, how many likes a picture has on Instagram or how many millilitres of lip filler to get. Our priorities are all wrong.