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There’s nothing cool about being pessimistic

My teenage years have been watermarked by social media and a noticeable rise in the promotion of self-harming activities. A more subtle negative belief than some others is that hating "everything" is "cool." Do you see why our parents might worry about the hours we spend on the Internet?
(Ignoring the fact that ironically, I screenshotted this from Tumblr.)

For humans to be able to survive in prehistoric times, a certain degree of pessimism was essential: it prepared us for danger. The first world, however, rarely deals with the primal dangers of our ancestors – we see people fishing for money and time, not survival. I cannot believe that the reason a blue outlook has been labeled as "cool" is due to evolutionary benefits, especially while "searching for happiness" is the even more popular antithesis.

(The sudden peak in searches of ‘how to be happy’ at the end of 2016 is probably due to the election of Donald Trump.)

In fact, I think that it would be rare for me to find a middle-aged person who considers pessimism to be "cool." Why does this concept prevail among young adults? Why is depression being romanticized?

Perhaps because it is the complete opposite of what our seniors are searching for: teenagers have that natural tendency to "rebel," so, of course, they might idolize the opposite their parent’s desires.

Similarly, this could stem from a movement of individualism that has sculpted the past few decades. Being ‘broken’ might have become interesting as it is more unconventional and less searched for.

Maybe it is because a community of self-hating promoters has infected social media, painting "brokeness" as a necessity for creativity or even presenting it as art. The communities can provide a feeling of understanding in angst-ridden teenage days: they have the power dramatize occasional negative emotions into hopeless despair.

Whatever the trigger, a terrifying cycle of romanticisation followed by the need to fit this ideal has formed and it can be deadly. Please, know that you can choose to seek help and that help is out there whether you find yourself unable to cope or simply feel that you need it. Please, choose positive. Remember to think for yourself in an era of information overload.


Chiara Seed is 15 years old and lives in England. She is hoping that "professional reader and movie watcher" will soon become a legitimate occupation but will settle for doing it in her spare time.
Instagram @chairmm

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