depression

Looking through pink glasses

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Pink glasses have made a comeback. People seem addicted to them and refuse to take them off.

A few years ago a relatively known French spin doctor announced that “Reality doesn’t matter. Only perception counts”. I doubt he was the only one to say so, but he was the first I heard, and I was impressed. We were before Facebook era and although I knew that politics implied a great lot of “perception games”, reality was still kicking. Politicians would try to sell their stuff, the press (not in Italy, of course :-)) would question them, and research and then filter to the public an acceptably truthful version of whatever was going on.

I felt positively reassured by the mere existence of reality. You could call a friend, or a business partner, or a parent, or even a public office and you would get an idea of what was going on in their lives, venture, routine. You would hear kids screaming on the other side of the line, spouses grumbling, bosses cutting short the phone call because there was something else to do. You could get a glimpse of normality and then be recomforted about your own days: other people were tired and struggling to make it to the end of the working shift, had boring chores to perform and bossy people to deal with. Of course, it could virtually happen to call or email someone in the minute he/she won the lottery and became a billionaire but the probability was remote. You could feel a little jealous when a friend told you he was leaving for the Carabbeans in the middle of winter while you were sitting at your desk, with mittens and a cold, sneaking on online shopping sites while you were supposed to work. But that was it.

The Facebook era has pushed everything a little further. There’re no more crying kids, boring spouses or castrating bosses in other people’s lives. Not even an unbearable family Christmas lunch (that one where Aunt Cinthya asked you when were you due, and you were 3 months post-partum) or a crappy holiday to the Maldives during rainy season. Whenever you feel gloomy or (even worse!) nostalgic and you decide to go have a look at what people you know, used to know, loved or hate are up to, think twice. Eat chocolate instead, or watch Downton Abbey. Everybody else – in fact – is clubbing, sunbathing in an invisible bikini, has no wrinkles despite being older than you, has cute, perfectly combed and very clean, smiley children. Husbands seem coming out of a 50s ad: they always smile, have a clean shirt on and a sexy grin, often mixed with clearly showed parental attitude. Those husbands carry seven children on two arms on an exotic beach, never ditch you with 6 luggages and a couple of toddlers to get a work phone call and never criticize your attitude towards money.

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You’ll soon get the impression that everybody else is clubbing, while you’re sitting on your couch with a runny nose.

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Those who aren’t clubbing are probably on a different time zone, and having sex with a Ryan Gosling lookalike on a desert Carabbean beach. While you are getting up for the 5th time a in a couple of hours to change your stomach bugged child’s sheets.

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Those who actually have children, as you do, appear to have extraordinarly beautiful and wonderfully clothed brats, as in this Bonpoint ad.

Reality, as the French guy said, doesn’t matter anymore. I am still adjusting to this. I am not a self-promoting pro, never been. I actually thought till yesterday probably that only B-series players would invest huge energies in self-promoting. Big players didn’t need that. They had just to kept doing whatever put them in the A-list.

Well, that’s over, I guess. I am fascinated by how many people reinvent themselves on social networks and actually end up fooling everybody else about their actual talents, qualities and successes.

A German study showed that an increasing number of Facebook users developed depression, feelings of envy and anxiety while looking at other people’s lives on the social network.

Out of a philantropic surge, please post (at least once in a while!) a scruffy, un-filtered, un-photoshopped picture of your life! Public Health Services all around the world will be grateful to be spared some cash from happy-pills prescriptions 🙂