28) It will become harder to view your life as “a story”
The way we define our sense of self will continue to morph via new ways of socializing. The notion of your life needing to be a story will seem slightly corny and dated. Your life becomes however many friends you have online.
I don't like his idea, but I get it intuitively. The power of story or narrative is something I've touched on before. The collapse of story in our lives may well be a longer term cultural consequence of the recession. A VoxEU paper on the long term effects of recession on values notes that:
- First, the effects of a severe recession experienced are large when the individual is between the ages of 18 and 24 – the so-called formative age – during which social psychologists think most of social beliefs are formed; the effects are not so strong when the recession is experienced later in life.
- Second, these effects are permanent because attitudes of recession-stricken individuals remain significantly altered many years after the severe recession ends.
- Third, we control for individuals’ endowments such as income, level of education, and ownership of a house that could also have an impact on beliefs. We thus measure the direct effect of a recession on beliefs; this effect could be even bigger if we added also the indirect effect through the personal endowments, which are also affected by a recession.
- Fourth, our estimation represents a lower bound of the effect of a recession on beliefs because our identification strategy relies only on regional shocks implicitly ignoring the effects of nationwide recessions.
Sad really. Though there's one remarkable compensating factor. We appear, as a people, to be getting through this recession remarkably intact - emotionally speaking, that is. The latest Eurobarometer survey on Mental Health in Europe suggests that the Irish are amongst the most emotionally positive - scoring well above the EU average for happiness, calm and energy:
So there's hope yet. That's if hope doesn't smack to much of 'story'.