I recently watched a mildly successful video that someone had shared on my Facebook newsfeed, the “Speed Dating” skit, which revolves around the perils of finding a meaningful relationship and the avoidant tactics of today’s youth. It seems that our generation is plagued with the lust for instant gratification, manipulation and mind games. When did it all become so complicated?
As it goes, our escalating sense of individuality and choice has not liberated us, as some would hope, but trapped us in a stalemate, where we sabotage our own chances of happiness because it is easier than being vulnerable. And not just easier: we have begun to base our existences on the absence of “something” and the inevitable dissatisfaction that comes with knowing that we “don’t have it all”. It is that established void that preserves our yearning to be forsaken and feeds our comfortable emptiness.
The “Speed Dating” video portrays two young people continually engaging in intimate pastimes, yet constantly lying about “not wanting anything serious” even though they have “developed strong feelings towards one another”. What it shows is that our consumerist obsessions have transcended into the emotional realm where commitment phobias, “having the upper hand” and zealously protecting yourself have become paramount. It’s not as simple as asking someone out or telling them that you’re in love with them anymore. Nowadays, we have been taught to be over analytical to the point where it inhibits all of our ability to admit defeat. Falling in love is seen as weak and pain has become the ultimate seductress.
Instead of going out and getting what you want, we wait, thinking that it is our god-given right to be handed everything on a silver platter. The movies we were brought up on, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, con us into believing that we are all destined for a magical happy ending; so when the fuck is this knight in shining armour coming to save us?
Actually addressing our problems and feelings has become too scary, so we torture ourselves with our suffering and use our fears to justify our escapism. I mean the last thing we would desire is getting exactly what we want, because then there would be nothing to keep us in that steady state of emotional destitute. Society’s horror stories of broken hearts and the confronting statistics that half of all marriages end in divorce, have unwittingly instilled the fear of impermanence within us and we won’t let ourselves be loved or feel love, because we’re too afraid of giving ourselves to someone we might lose.
I guess the greatest irony of our generation is that we strive for freedom and yet we are hopelessly imprisoned by our own fear and our own inaction. Our supposed intelligence has made us slaves to certainty and thus, victims to the great fall of irrationality.