Are we all becoming hypochondriacs?
People are more and more afraid within this modern world. The 21st century is a century where fear has a key position in everyone’s life, and it is something that we can’t get rid of. Research shows that risk-taking is declining immensely and that people rather choose for the safe option than being at risk of failing. ‘’We are living in a culture of fear!’’, scientists are screaming at us through their articles, books and other publications. And being afraid is something bad. Taking risks is necessary for growth and innovation. Always trying to go for the safest option will result in a society that is paralysed, it stagnates our progress. And for us, as the younger generation, that is especially threatening. But how is it possible that we are afraid, and for what?
Just as it is the cause of almost every modern problem, social media is one of the biggest reasons for us being hypochondriacs. A hypochondriac is someone who we call a ‘doom-thinker’ and can only be pessimistic and see the danger or worst in any given situation. I’m not saying that we are all like this, but it is true that more and more people are slowly becoming one through circumstances they can’t foresee or prevent from happening. We are only pawns in the world’s biggest game of chess. I’ll start by giving some examples so you can understand me a bit better. One of the biggest threats of the moment is the Coronavirus. A phenomenon that they blew into our world around mid-December 2019. Once it became known that this was a virus that was never seen before and that there was no cure, people totally freaked. Everybody was afraid of catching the disease and because it originated in Wuhan, China, others being racist against people with a Chinese origin was inescapable. Social media completely took over and started something called ‘The epidemic of the ‘20s’. In 1920 we had the Spanish flu, which killed up to 100 million people. In 1820 and 1620 we had the yellow fever, twice, that killed 30-90% of the population of Southern New England. And in 1720 there was a big plague in France which also killed a ton of people. So obviously, it is totally justified to think that we will all die because of this Coronavirus in 2020. And this is only one example of the many things social media completely blew out of proportion because everyone who googled the Coronavirus thoroughly knows that it can be cured as long as you aren’t a very old person with poor resistance or someone who lives in an area without paramedics available.
Another current thing is the fear for a dying planet because of the climate. Humans are destroying the planet by just doing what they have done all along but now, we have apparently come to the end. Something has to change because otherwise... but actually, otherwise what? I am not sure if I want to start this conversation because I know many people are very pro-climate and really believe that they are changing the world by being environmentally-friendly, but I just can’t resist. I have visited countries where everyone drove on polluting mopeds and where nobody cared about the environment because they were busy with getting food on the table at night. The fact that The Netherlands is a progressive country that wants to really matter and do the right thing, is great, but unfortunately all that air that we try to keep clean, is not staying in concentration above our country and will not be enough to save the earth from dying. Every era comes to an end, look at the era of the dinosaurs, or the ice age. Maybe it is time for the era of humans to end as well, who knows? The argument that there came a point where we started destroying the earth we’re living on, and that we can reverse back to that point, is untrue. Since the existence of the first Homo Sapien we were already killing the earth. Burning forests so we would have better hunting grounds, traveling to other parts of the world and extinguishing hundreds of animal populations within years after arrival. Destroying the earth is in our genes, in our DNA, and being afraid that the end is near is useless because we have no control over it at all. And just think about it, would we even know that we were killing the earth if it wasn’t for social media or technology telling us? The hottest day ever was measured 1913 and there were no signs of a climate change back then.
These are only two of a hundred different reasons to be afraid. We could keep going by talking about the alleged start of WO III or the terrorist attacks haunting our societies. But being afraid of things is, in conclusion, something that is unavoidable. We are updated 24/7 with terrible news via social media and can’t help but overthink everything we read: ‘’What if this will happen to me?’’, ‘’How can I protect my loved ones?’’, ‘’Is this something I need to worry about?’’, ‘’Should I still go out and have fun while so many people live in such bad circumstances?’’, and so on. Life is hard and unfair, but you only have one life as well. One time to have fun, to enjoy the things you’re doing, to take risks and go on adventures. If we are afraid all the time, then what is life, and what is it worth? We’ll all die one day anyways. And that is something that we certainly can’t prevent from happening.
Inspirational quote: ‘’Don't wake up when it’s too late’’