Gloomageddon: Is it a matter of perspective?
I've fought hard to ward off all the incessant, negative banter of economic downturn, recession and market collapse. In fact, I was even kind of excited about how an economic slowdown might actually be of benefit to our weary environment and overworked population. I am not the only one who believes there is an upside to an economic downturn.
What does money mean to us? When it comes down to it, we work for food, shelter and basic necessities. All the rest is icing on the cake and in recent decades, we have had a lot of icing. A lot. For a long time I've had a sneaking suspicion we simply can't keep thundering along at such a frenetic pace without consequence. The reality feels like it's finally sinking in, and yes, a few jobs will be lost in the process.
Marshall McLuhan tells us that "terror is the normal state of any oral society, for in it, everything affects everything all the time." What he perhaps didn't foresee was that terror didn't turn out to be Winston Smith's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Terror turned out to be a friend's grandmother bingeing on conspiracy websites during a late-night browsing jag, triggering days of pension freak-out e-mails with her daughter, Sarah, down in Human Resources, who then installs a real-time Dow Jones ticker widget in the top right-hand corner of her work screen, and when Sarah goes home, she and her husband browse online real-estate listings wondering when the bottom's going to hit. Nothing has really changed, but everybody's adrenalized, miserable and chomping at the bit for data - more data, please - all we want is more data. What's going on here?
While the general public might be clamouring with tales of doom and gloom, I think it's important to maintain perspective and stay optimistic about the future, as hard as that may be at times. Taking a hot bath and reading a good book might help!