Noticeably or unconsciously we are exposed to these warning words everyday. Whether it’s from parents, peers or social influences, the changing job market demand, the depressing economic situation, now even the prevalent social media like facebook, twitter, they are shaping a life for us, but not us.
Plot 1* the big picture
the trigger: the social environment has changed –
Then – When we were living in the 90s, the good old days, we would have enjoying the spacious opportunity to find a job, the freedom of picking what we want and what field we’d like to go in to.
Now – Post-Bush era, the unemployment rate is triple of what we had in the 90s. Many industries are shrinking, laying-off news spreads out on the air in every TV channel. The tech-driven society comes out to be dominating of our daily life.
the process: we are changing as well
Looking back the school essays from different subject we have written in varied class we used to be in, we know that from the papers we can be someone, but someone different. Focus on different area we can see different form of us.
Looking at the musical appreciation article I wrote, I used to think I could be a musician. With the plenty of papers of movie critique I thought I would be a film maker at that time. Looking back the graphics design I made for freelance wasn’t I once a graphic designer? How about photograph? Couldn’t I be photographer if I insisted a little bit more on that road?
It reminds us we used to have loose characters, but have been shaped by something else. Many people have similar experience at once upon a time in the past they thought they can be someone but because of the outer or inner factors they change their major in college. It might be the factor coming from the industry they want to get in shrinking or they have doubt for what they choose. Moreover, the one industry’s boom causing another to decline. While providing the new product the old one or the inefficient one going downhill, which we can avoid we have to fit in.
The result is we begin have doubt in our interests. We doubt if we are able to make a living. We begin to changing path, which cause the social phenomenon of late marriage because this society creates confusion to many of us who are slow to adapt the rapid change of our environment.
The changing path following economic and social transformation is just one of the examples. Car nation is another area we adapt to, like using car every day exchanging the environmental destruction. The materials we building up are used for exchanging something fancy, and at the same time, the price is we receiving a going downhill earth that we are living in.
the consequence: we become a social/cultural product
We have to change ourselves to fit into this society and to survive with all kinds of economic crisis happening around us in the big picture. For the tech-driven society we train ourselves to adapt to the global needs for change. From couple generation before no knowing of computer to this decade we use it everyday. We totally changing our life style to flow into the big circle of social media. While the prevalent use of tech-driven devices that bring our life circle convenient, we became a follower of that’s fixed for us. The tech innovator or the inventor opened a new way for us, and we are just a bunch of birds that follow tightly the leader to head to the realm that we have be influenced to.
Plot 2* the parenting influence
the trigger: the invisible hands
After we finish the noticeable social trends, we unfold the unconsciously environmental process. Parents and peers’ influences are always there with us. Their impact is like invisible hands, shaping our specific characters which is accompanying us while we becoming adults.
the process: we want to be alike
The childhood education affects the shaping process for one’s characteristics. Unconsciously parents tend to train their children to become one of them, or one in their kind unless who feel ashamed of their lives they might want their kids to be different. Most of them, the parenting process is a turning-to-the-same process. I’m not saying two generations have the same habits or interests, but characteristically the temper, the habit, the taste to some degree, the appreciation level will be similar while connecting two. It might come from the genes, or we could argue it’s the environmental facto attaching our growing periods.
The peers is another hand that helps to shape one’s characteristics. In school the most people we get around with are our friends, then their friends, classmates, and people we hang out with. Their opinions, along with mixing ours will be shaping our final thoughts and conscious together. Their habits, as a form of behavior, is what we see and feel each day, and in order to fit into the peer group we adapt some of them. Time after time the habits of some other else’ become ours. Drugs and drinking habits are two of the examples. If the habit is social approving, like drinking in specific occasion, it will be the thing we adapt the fastest. One reason for that, we want to be alike.
For the same reason there’re always some people want to be different, which happens a lot in western society. That results in stimulating their creativity and innovation in their early ages, which can turn into their critical thinking and reasoning skills that form a healthy sign for breaking the tradition and influences and just be honest to yourself.
However for lots of people have been influenced by peers and parents behaviors, they want to be alike in order to be included in a group. That’s the case of the invisible hand forming our characteristics.
the consequence: we become innocent for what we want
As a result, gradually we forget the pure us in the childhood. We lost our real individual needs and fall into the trap of limitation. The limited choices that we have with the unplanned experiences and influences we had in the past hinder our actions. Slowly we become one of the characters that fit into the shape of someone else making for us, with limited us inside.
Those two factors are circling around us every day. We are living in a social-impact-driven environment and with the influences and demands that other giving to us. Can we be ourselves? Can we really be the come-back-to nature, the pure self that can face what we really want in heart? To clearly see ourselves, we must break the influences, we need to be honest to ourselves and clear out the freedom we still left to choose the lifestyle we want neglecting the invisible hands moving around us. Otherwise, we can just see the shifting confused self that hanging around nowhere because we are lost into the artificial fog that some body else once formed for us.