6 Reasons Why Old-school Idealism Is Constantly Challenged In The 21st Century Material World

The world around us is changing, even as we speak. It is perhaps justified to think that change the only constant. In a matter of years, I’ve seen technology grow big enough to dwarf other industries. 

There is much comfort in the modern era; we’re a well-connected world owing to our good old smartphones and laptop screens. Comforts can be easily bought, but what of contentment? Are we ensnared in a web of worldly distractions, and have forgotten to find joy in the littlest things? 

Here are some reasons why old-school idealism faces real challenges in the 21st-century world:

1. Social media fanaticism leaves very little room for other avenues of enjoyment. 

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Blame it on a generation that revels in acts of ostentation; everyone is a celebrity on social media!

We crave the attention and adulation; a sense of gratification kicks in with the number of ‘likes’ we receive on Facebook photos and statuses.

Increased presence on social media has affected our social graces! Catching up with friends is not just about clicking selfies, it’s about reliving the good old times together! Our attachment to the cell-phone can often get in the way of our happiness. How often do we soak in the moments that make take our breath away before exhibiting them on social media?

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  • 2. Modern-day conveniences have rendered us too lazy for our own good.   

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    Everything is taken care of in the urban setup. We are constantly outsourcing work that we are too lazy or tired to attend to. Household chores are conveniently palmed off on the domestic help, food is quickly ordered in, and if ever you’re short on groceries, Apps are around to make sure that your kitchen is supplied with all the veggies you need. We don’t take pleasure in setting up our own homes anymore. Our involvement in household chores is practically negligible. 

    3. The ‘start-up’ work culture is a perfect recipe for indiscipline.  

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    Metropolitan cities have witnessed several start-ups crop up in a short span of time.

    These start-ups offer an alternative to the conventional 9 to 5 job routine. They offer enticing salaries and promise you freedom in the workplace, but that’s just a bait! You’re anything but ‘free’ in a start-up. You’re hounded for work at any time of the day (or night!), there’ll be several sleepless nights, and you can forget about fitting in time for exercises or any other recreational activity.  

    4. A ‘no-strings-attached’ approach is preferred in modern relationships.

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    There’ll be plenty a heartbreak for those who relish old-school romance; we live in times where love is lost! It is fear of commitment that leads to a no-strings-attached arrangement, where ‘love’ becomes a matter of convenience. Sustaining a relationship with trust, care and attention is looked upon as a burdensome responsibility. I quote- ‘since sex got easier to get, love got harder to find.’ 

    5. Insensitivity towards elders is one of the most disturbing realities in modern society.

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    Some truly horrifying videos surfaced on the internet a few months back, highlighting the awful treatment that is meted out to elders in the household. Resorting to thoughtless violence against the helplessness of old people is shameful! All our life, our elders have lent their support and guidance to us. We owe them love and respect. Any disrespect towards them would be grossly unfair on our part. 

    6. Career choices also revolve around materialistic gains. 

    Holding an MBA degree is the need of the hour, it seems. It’s mind-boggling to see how aspirants hailing from diverse fields have a taken a fancy to business. ‘There’s a lot of money after B-school,’ comes the swift response from any IIM-aspirant. I thought ‘3 idiots’ was a wake-up call for everyone who considered engineering as the most coveted line to take up.

    Money is undoubtedly an important consideration but should it overshadow an individual’s sphere of interest? It would be a shame if all talented artists, journalists and actors abandoned their passion for joining the MBA-bandwagon, for the want of material success. 


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