Were People Happier in 1957?
Were people happier in 1957? If we look back through the pages of history it seems that there was a glorious post-war period where people were so delighted the world hadn’t ended in a hail of Nazi gun fire that rejoicing was a widespread phenomenon – especially when rationing had finally ended.
So if people were happier in 1957… What are the social mechanisms that are generally depressing people today?
When e-mail, text-messaging and mobile phones came along, it was supposed to be a communication revolution. What’s actually happened is we’ve experienced a control revolution. We no longer get back to friends in a timely fashion and it seems like people have practically stopped answering their mobile phone calls, unless you send them three or four texts first. Yet on the other hand, people are happy to answer work emails on the weekend and it seems like we are never turned off from the boss, or the customer, wanting an answer.
We all know that social media has the power to create a biased version of the world. That’s not a problem. It’s when we start subscribing to the reality it presents that we become increasingly disenfranchised with our own lives. People tend to post a preferential view of themselves and their existence onto sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. When we look at how well others are doing this often makes us question our own lives, causing discomfort and unhappiness. Of course, no one ever posts the bad times on Facebook.
Back in 1957 there was only a few newspapers, one TV channel and the radio. We only received one version of events and there was certainly no currency in pedalling doom and gloom like many of today’s news websites, which seem to be interested in making sure we all feel that the world’s going to end. With this continual stream of doom in our lives it is often possible to feel as if we are living in turbulent times. And perhaps we are – but do we need reminding of it every five minutes?
Equal opportunities has definitely been a necessary social tool, but at what cost? In 1957 a family could survive on one parent’s wage, leaving the other parent at home in charge of childcare and ensuring that there was a stable environment for the children. Now both parents have to work every hour god sends in some cities and have very little time to spend with their children – leaving some of their upbringing to the childminder and crèche. As human beings we love to be with our most immediate family members and the increasing gulf between parents and children impacts on happiness.
If you are looking to remove some of the electronic stresses from your life, then hypnotherapy and CBT can give you a different perspective. By simply learning to have a grounded self-view where happiness is not about comparing yourself with others and about your own emotional well-being, it is possible to escape the pitfalls of unhappiness that are all around the modern world.