I just watched this incredible interview by Simon Sinek on London Real.
The points he conveyed we so on the mark about the shift in society.
Some key point were about;
- The addiction to social media in modern society
- The lack of correlation between shiny social media profiles and how people feel inside
- Confidence is often surrupticiously low in the younger generation (despite higher achievements than ever before)
- A practice of Patience is what is needed
- Companies and organizations need to prioritize looking after their people rather than their number if we want to see a shift (and perhaps avoid an epidemic of mental health decline)
And… leadership is Key.
To take it one step further I would like to say that everything in Simon’s argument could perhaps be consumed in a different flavour if one replaces the word “they” with “we”.
This came to me as a reflection after watching this brilliant interview, because as a 41 year old human, I can relate to many of the traits that were ascribed to the millennials. I’ve always related to the younger generations, maybe because I grew up with a kid brother who was 12 years younger than me, or maybe it’s due to my free spirited nature, or perhaps it’s owing to a number of factors including taking on PhD during my 30’s (which lead to an extended period of an international student lifestyle)- who knows? Whatever the reason, I can relate on many counts to many perspectives ascribed to the newer generations (gen Y & Z). However, there is also a salient difference in that I also well relate to my own generation stereotype and with that can clearly remember life during a time before the age of smart phones and social media- this was a time when we talked in person a lot more, and we were less socially shielded from interpersonal encounters.
Mediation Retreats: ground zero for social media
When I did a 10 day silent mediation retreat in the Blue mountains, near Sydney, last year, one of the conditions of the retreat centre was to hand in our mobile phones to be locked away for the duration of the retreat.
The retreat itself had a profound effect on my mental health and state of wellbeing, but perhaps an important confounding variable in the personal study of the effects of 10 days of mediation had to be the simultaneous disconnection from mobile/social media/emails (i.e. I often wonder how I would have felt if I just locked away my phone for 1 week, and didn’t check emails, and did no meditation).
On thing I learned by doing a retreat where you cut back your regular routines to a minimum is that habits (and in some instances addictive tendencies – or addiction itself, quickly surfaces). It is my hypothesis that it’s not just the millennial that are addicted to these light emitting plastic communication devices. Social media and smart phones have become so embedded in modern society (affecting many age brackets), that it is difficult to appreciate how much so unless one completely removes themselves from it.
The new face(book) of society?
Perhaps the first step to changing the direction in which society is moving is to appreciate this very uncomfortable proposition, that many who are not outright addicted are probably habitually constrained, to varying degrees. After all a therapy or way of being to address the deficits for the millennial is most likely a therapy that we could all benefit from to varying degrees. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting shift – from “us” and “them” to simply “all of us who are interested”.
Thank you Simon for picking up this hot potatoe that so few want to catch!
These are just some instantaneous reflections from someone who intentionally caught that potatoe, whilst himself caught under the spell of a habit that is being regularly actively monitored and held at bay.