this post was submitted on 04 Jan 2024
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submitted 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) by solomon42069 to c/asklemmy

It feels like no matter where I turn some septuagenarian, or older, is making life miserable for myself and others. Usually these are older white Christian conservatives, obsessed with a delusional sense of reality that no longer has a basis in fact, or perhaps never did.

There is a disproportionate amount of wealth concentrated in the older generation and those who will inherit it will probably be even worse with that money than the last generation. Certainly we see evidence of that already, anyone in their 30's who has parents who help them out VS those who don't have that have radically different outcomes. For some reason those lucky enough to come from good families ascribe laziness and bad attitude to those who don't have the family support, as if they are somehow enjoying "self made success" while mummy does their laundry for them.

No generation previous needed this kind of assistance well into adulthood, but this infantilisation of working adults has happened because of the hoarding of wealth, refusing to pass on the torch in workplaces and just blocking change for the sake of stoking petty politics. Most of us will never own our own home but all the politicians want to talk about is whether it's OK to dehumanise trans people or not.

I'm 36 this year. For most of my teens I thought there'd be some kind of tipping point where the conservative boomers would fuck off or at least let the next generation step in, but that hasn't happened. Back in the 1990's you could be a girl and wear jeans and be empowered, now this is considered some kind of woke statement. As if we recently invented this idea of women and men being equal.

The faces of my two dogs, my cat and my husband are all that keep me going. Knowing they need me gives me just enough to get out of bed in the morning and start moving... but I'm struggling to do even that without having a breakdown. My husband and I have medical expenses we can't afford and are borrowing money to survive right now. I run my own business and just feel this immense pressure on my shoulders, that again is compounded by how unfair the world is right now.

Anyone got any advice for coping with this late stage capitalist hellscape?

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[–] [email protected] 60 points 5 months ago (2 children)

The entire world is going through this right now. Many of us will never own a home - and no I don't mean just Gen-Z and maybe Millenials, I mean people your age even. Fwiw, you/we still are doing better off than at least 95% of the world, but that is not to diminish the pain that we are losing hope b/c we are not doing as well as we thought we would. Find a way of coping that works for you - I am still searching for mine...:-( I just thought it might help to say that you are not alone:-).

[–] supermassiveasshole 38 points 5 months ago (2 children)

Take a hiatus from social media and from doomscrolling- it can be so incredibly damaging.

[–] [email protected] 17 points 5 months ago

Old people squeeze their eyes & ears shut so that they will neither see nor hear the ~~cries of pain~~ screams of agony as the world burns, and they say: "This is fine".

Ngl, there is some merit to that - maybe that is how they survived as long as they have, as opposed to those that died young (selection bias). I too could become a zombie, numb to the world, and I would then exist even after it ceased to. But I choose to live - and that means to suffer, especially when my brethren and sistren all across the world suffer too.:-( It is not madness to feel pain when things are WRONG - I would argue that it is, in fact, sanity.

All that is the context for why I agree - we NEED to stay connected, but not 24/7; also it helps to balance doomscrolling with positive experiences: as described in what I thought was a super-excellent article on that subject.

[–] [email protected] 7 points 5 months ago (1 children)

I can’t even figure out what “doom scrolling” is supposed to be. I just regular scroll.

[–] dexa_scantron 20 points 5 months ago (1 children)

It's regular scrolling but when the longer you do it, the worse you feel, but you still feel compelled to do it, it's called doom scrolling.

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[–] [email protected] 13 points 5 months ago (2 children)

don't mean just Gen-Z and maybe Millenials, I mean people your age even

They said they're 36. That's millenial. At 41, I'm what Iliza Schlesinger coined an Elder Millennial (a little under two months older than Iliza herself).

Great comment otherwise, though, and I sincerely hope you find your coping method(s)!

[–] tory 9 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) (2 children)

It is really weird how no one can imagine generations getting old. It's like they think millenial is slang for teens, and Gen z is slang for younger kids.

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[–] themurphy 59 points 5 months ago (2 children)

Like many else suggests: Cut the media. The world doesn't care if you follow it or not, and you'll be much happier all the time.

Alternative, try to follow positive media. I created my own community for this purpose only, called /c/worldinprogress

[–] [email protected] 12 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) (5 children)


For the lazy: [email protected]

Great idea btw.

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[–] solomon42069 10 points 5 months ago (1 children)

Already doing this, that doesn't stop my next door neighbour from being harassed by the old couple on the corner. It doesn't stop my narcissist mother from coming to my door even when I tell her I'm going to call the cops. There are real problems beyond people's perceptions and feelings from the news.

[–] [email protected] 24 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

I feel like you've got some other issues going on that you aren't letting any one in on. Statements like "neighbour from being harassed by the old couple" and "stop my narcissist mother from coming to my door even when I tell her I'm going to call the cops" are definitely not normal experiences. I don't think you will find general answers to your original question until you first address these more specific problems head on.

[–] [email protected] 29 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) (4 children)

I'm almost exactly the same age as you. If I've learned anything up to this point, it's that people would start to have better and richer lives as soon as they cancel their cable TV subscriptions, delete all social media accounts*, and delete all news apps from their mobile devices. I really believe smartphones are a huge culprit in making people miserable, and it's because we've let these things get totally out of hand instead of consciously making them as boring and utilitarian as possible.

The issue of being 'informed' or not can be covered by reading Wikipedia's current events page for a few minutes each week. That should also free up plenty of time for people to focus more on what really matters day-to-day, which is their local community, friends, family and neighbors. Useful information is actionable, and actionable information can be found when you're laser-focused on your local area and the ways you can help improve it.

  • Lemmy / kbin isn't social media, IMO. ; )
[–] [email protected] 24 points 5 months ago (2 children)

Lemmy is objectively social media

[–] [email protected] 6 points 5 months ago (2 children)

I think they mean social media with algorithmicly generated content feeds.

[–] [email protected] 6 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) (1 children)

All the feeds are algorithms in leemmy - hot, top, new, etc. They're just simpler algorithms and they're open source.

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[–] dexa_scantron 29 points 5 months ago (1 children)

I've been struggling with this too, but doing ok mostly. Here's what works for me:

  1. Spend time with people who make me feel hope instead of despair. It sounds like you know some entitled assholes; don't spend time with them if they don't improve you.
  2. Focus on local. What is happening right around me? What can I do to make it better? How am I interacting with my immediate environment?
  3. Focus on what is improving. In many, many ways it's better now that it has been at any time in human history. Women have more freedom and power now than they ever have. I can learn anything I want to, find out anything I want to, almost instantly. More people are aware of systemic oppression now than ever before, and more people are willing to resist it than ever before.
  4. Pick what to be mad about. There are too many things to be angry about, so I try to pick the ones that I think are the most worth it. For me, they are: wealth accumulation (we've come so far, and built such a great civilization, and we let a few rich fuckers loot it. It was a mistake! We tricked ourselves into thinking it was a good idea! But we're realizing it's not, and it's fixable) and systemic racism in the US (Black infants in America being twice as likely to die before they reach a year old than white infants is UNACCEPTABLE). Yeah, there's an infinite amount of other shitty stuff, but I'm only one person.
  5. Picking and choosing social media/other news sources that don't send me into a doom spiral. I don't go on Twitter. I don't go on Reddit any more. I don't have Lemmy on my phone (sorry Lemmy, nothing personal, but it's a bad doomscrolling hole for me). I go on Discord and I read blogs I subscribe to.

I believe that a person can only handle three big things at a time, and everything else needs to take a back seat to those three. You have your business, your family, and your medical debt. Those are your three burdens. When one of them gets light enough, you can take on something else. Gender equality and entitled rich people and identity politics are not your burdens right now. They can take a back burner until other stuff gets better for you.

Good luck, it's hard.

[–] solomon42069 7 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

Thank you, some great advice and feels like affirmation I've taken the right first steps on my own, just need to keep at it!

[–] [email protected] 25 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) (1 children)

One of the reasons that older people have money is because society was sane when they were young. It was even possible for only one parent to work and the other to stay at home and take care of kids and the house.

Every decade since then, things get worse because capitalism wants everyone to work, everyone to buy things, and as few people as possible having enough money to not work. Because money is power and if you are living thanks to a monthly check, you have no power.

The main strategy from the top has always been to divide people as much as possible and distract them from the fact that they can't get out of the hamster wheel. So there are public discussions about gender politics, environmental issues and other things that divide people into groups, so they argue with eachother and stay distracted from the big picture.

Big picture, we are kind of like slaves but much more comfortable. As long as we can't stop working, we are slaves in a way, because we don't have freedom to spend our lives doing what we want in most cases. So we waste our days trying to care about company problems that are all about increasing their profits while paying everyone as little as they can.

Yeah this is not a encouraging post, sorry. I just say what I think here.

[–] AnUnusualRelic 5 points 5 months ago (1 children)

One of the reasons that older people have money is because society was sane when they were young.

Also because they've had more time to make money.

As for the original question, "How to cope with existing right now?", I find that apathy helps.

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[–] [email protected] 23 points 5 months ago (3 children)

Stop paying attention to the media and do something rewarding. Build stuff, draw, read books, learn to cook, play an instrument, raise chickens, start camping. Do anything other than dwell in your misery. The world will continue regardless of you watching it. If you think everything is terrible, you already know which side of politics is evil, so just vote against them when the the me comes and don't bother following what's happening. You can't effect it and it will only drive you crazy. It's all just a distraction feeding a dopamine addiction you'll never be ready to let go of. Social media especially. Play some slick jams and do the dishes, it's very therapeutic.

[–] wellee 12 points 5 months ago (1 children)

Well thats not true. You can volunteer, get involved in rallies and local elections, petition, protest. Those are great hobbies too ;)

[–] solomon42069 7 points 5 months ago

Yeah I think I need to get more involved in my local progressive political groups... I can't complain about the world sucking if I'm not committing to being part of the better change myself.

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[–] [email protected] 20 points 5 months ago (1 children)

If you want to hear your worries repeated again and again, hang around Lemmy

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[–] foggy 17 points 5 months ago
  1. Take stock of what is and what is not in your control. There are a lot of things in life that are unfair that are outside of our control.

  2. If the thing is in your control, take stock of what actions you can take to change the thing to better suit your desired outcomes.

This advice may seem trite, but it's been repeated for generations because it is always like this in some capacity. Life will throw shit at you. Your job as a person seeking a happy healthy life is to learn how to react and respond. If it's out of your control, you have to make the best of it. Even if it sucks.

There are people happily fighting cancer. There are happy paraplegics. There are happy people in Gaza (not many, but I guarantee there is someone finding the silver lining in a real hell scape).

Learn to accept the things you cannot control. Learn to act in the things that are within your control.

It's all you got.

[–] Papanca 17 points 5 months ago

Know that not everyone is like this, but it seems that the type of people you describe are the biggest shouters. There are people who have been fighting against climate change and 'the establishment' since the seventies or earlier, who do their best to always patiently continue to vote instead of giving up and not voting at all, who still join protests, discuss their views in the hopes of changing the perspectives of others. But they usually are just not the people who catch your eye. I'm a lot older than you, and i also still try to write to companies (sometimes even successfully change their product which is very encouraging), sign petitions, donate to certain causes, vote, answer questions when people ask for my opinion. I always was a bit of a rebel and i know of others who are too. I know that i am not alone in this. I was inspired by those lone rangers in the seventies who were already fighting against climate change, even though i don't know their names. They were usually portrayed in the media as the exaggerating crazies or hippies. But i'm not 'in your face' about it and i will only discuss things when other people approach me and ask me something. This takes away some of the hostility of other people who tend to feel attacked when i do things differently than they do. I always knew that i was never alone in my views. I might not know most of them but i know they exist. They always have. It might feel like you are alone, but you never are. And i feel like i do have a certain influence on my own personal environment. It makes some people think about certain things. They might even change, if only a little. At the very least, they now know from personal experience a person like me and can use my existence in conversations about certain topics, just as i could use those anonymous strangers who were putting up a fight in the seventies.

[–] TheInsane42 16 points 5 months ago (4 children)

Anyone got any advice for coping with this late stage capitalist hellscape?

Learn skills.

Money is worthless when you have to spend 4 hours to work to hire somebody to do in 1h what you yourself can do in 2. At this point the prizes of skilled labour rise as there is a huge shortage of skilled personel. Somehow society decided ther theoretical knowledge is more valuable then practical knowledge, but to me managers and the likes are overhead.

As example, in '10, when I was 38, my house needed painting for the 1st time. I got a quote of €4k (more then a month's wage) and it would be done in 2-3 days. I decided to paint the house myself and it took me a week, cost me €400, gave me the chance to repair the windows and I learned some skills.

Same goes for car repairs, plumbing and I (male) even made our curtains with a sewing machine I bought. The only tasks I'm forced to hire people for now is medical, for me, my wife and our pets. When I hire somebody for other tasks, it's because I don't want to do the work. It's a choice.

As it always has been, knowledge is power, which includes the knowledge/skills to be self supporting. Refuse to run the rat race, although in the US that's a lot harder then over here in Europe.

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[–] morphballganon 15 points 5 months ago (2 children)

Focus on today. Focus on what choices you can make.

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[–] solomon42069 15 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) (1 children)

Thank you for the kind words of support! Some very helpful advice in most of these and actionable.

And to those questioning my lived experience, perhaps a bit of victim blaming too, while I open up and ask strangers for help.. what the fuck is wrong with you lmao

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[–] [email protected] 14 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago)

I like to be informed, so, that "cut the news" thing, while it works for some people, it's not for everyone.

Mindfulness was the thing that helped me to cope with current times. I believe our brains aren't ready for this stream of information about the world, because our world used to be way smaller when it evolved, and its plasticity can only get so far. Be aware of your present, that's your life, thinking about the past and the future only brings pain and anxiety. Learn to detach your self from your mind, or the part of your brain that lives thinking about the future. Know how to let go from the illusion that you have control of your life.

[–] tory 14 points 5 months ago (1 children)

Sounds to me like all your problems would go away with money. I wish I had a solution for you, sorry OP.

[–] solomon42069 8 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) (1 children)

Pretty much! I've been sales prospecting since November but it's just a baad time to be doing that in terms of time of year and the pinch on a lot of company budgets out there. Uncertainty everywhere makes people nervous and not want to spend money on new contractors offering advanced 3D visuals etc.

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[–] [email protected] 13 points 5 months ago

There is a disproportionate amount of wealth concentrated in the older generation and those who will inherit it will probably be even worse with that money than the last generation.

Don't worry, this isn't going to happen. Inheritance, I mean. Almost all of that generations wealth is going to be eaten by elder care. At $10k per month, and zero of that being covered by Medicare until you're basically destitute, nursing homes are going to demolish that store of wealth and their descendants will be left with nothing.

[–] FollyDolly 13 points 5 months ago

I feel you. We have had the rug pulled out from under us so often we might as well lay on the floor. I wish I had some advice to give you, but I don't. All I can say is I truly sympathize becuase I am going through the same thing. We are just going to have to hang in there, for better or worse.

[–] ajmxco 13 points 5 months ago

My best advise is to stay away from social media.

[–] KpntAutismus 9 points 5 months ago (3 children)

distract yourself, ignorance truly is bliss.

i have multiple hobbies currently. i collect HotWheels, Nerf guns and the occasional LEGO Technic set.

3D Printing has been very fun, most entry level machines are 200€ and you can use fusion360 for free. the gridfinity system will restore order to any cluttered room.

also comitting to watching shows, reading books gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

to add to that, i set up an old PC as a NAS running truenas and jellyfin as a docker app. i'm also planning to add nextcloud to it.

i'm still very depressed, but without my hobbies i wouldn't be here right now.

[–] solomon42069 8 points 5 months ago* (last edited 5 months ago) (2 children)

I have a veggie garden, three pets, two businesses, multiple digital and physical projects...

All the distractions in the world don't help much when my husband is writhing in pain and we can't even see a surgeon. The Australian health system thinks walking, being able to work and living without pain isn't a priority, in the next week we'll have been on the waiting list for a year.

It gets my goat when we can't even get into the public hospital without having to walk 500m through the car park because the private facilities have taken over the entire complex.

[–] KpntAutismus 6 points 5 months ago

that fucking sucks.

my dad told me of a friend who broke his neck and was paralyzed from the neck down once. he was able to recover almost fully, but only because he was a football player and had a lot of sponsors paying for his therapy. otherwise he would've remained paralyzed probably.

not even tax euro funded hospitals help often times.

we are all royally fucked at the moment and we can't really do anything about it except electing the least corrupt and most empathetic people as possible.

but whatever you do, your husband needs you. even if you can't cure whatever problem there is, i'm sure being there for him and caring as much as possible, even if it's very exhausting, means a lot to him.

that's an easy thing to just type out, and i have no idea how hard it actually is. but keep going. this is what we do, this is what we have always done. that's how we survive.

don't become a statistic, become the change you want to see.

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[–] [email protected] 8 points 5 months ago (9 children)

I saw this 70 year old guy waiting at the hospital today, with his 70 year old wife in a wheelchair, produce wearing by his brand new TRUMP hat (along with a chain wallet, like he was 20 and it was 1996). My thought was: why the fuck does this loser have to fuck up society before he dies of old age?

[–] [email protected] 8 points 5 months ago (1 children)

He needs something to focus on other than dying and his sick wife. Don't worry about it, just negate his vote, he'll die first.

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[–] Lightsong 7 points 5 months ago (1 children)

I feel the same but what help me is living in my reality, living with my gf, my apartment, set goal that I want to achieve (getting cast iron pan, dog in 2025, etc) and just focus on my own personal thing, and do my hobb(ies) without fail. Do not skip on your hobby.

Disconnect from news and social media as much as you can. And I don't mean deactivate your account, just ignore and turn the notifications off.

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[–] RealFknNito 7 points 5 months ago

Temporary media blackout.

[–] CliveRosfield 6 points 5 months ago (2 children)

Find a hobby besides reading bad news on the internet, it’s not that hard

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