The magic of “simpler” times — playing and goofing off
Wolf Alice’s “Bros” is a song I stumbled upon about a year ago. I am a huge fan of alternative music and it’s often hard for me to keep up with the latest alternative hits, but Wolf Alice’s “Bros” stands out amongst the rest. It’s a beautiful song about the magic of friendship, and I think the video captures the sentiments of the song quite well. It is so important to spend quality time building friendships, because healthy relationships are one of the keys to happiness. If you have a couple of minutes, watch the video and listen to the song lyrics. You might notice something about the tween girls in the video. As the girls pal around, there are NO smartphones to interfere with their bonding time.
Sadly, it’s rare to see tweens and teens without cell phones in hand for any length of time today. This seems to be particularly true when they are bored. Heck, this goes for adults too! In the video, it often appears that the girls aren’t doing too much of consequence. While they might be bored at times, they make up things to do and just play around. There is magic in those simple moments.
Bring Back The “Simpler” Times
Many of us look back fondly to times of our youth. When our world centered around spending time with our friends and the adventures that we would experience together. Can you think of some of those times? Often sublime moments would emerge from ordinary circumstances. The magic of friendship frequently comes from the mundane. But we need to allow space for this to happen.
It seems that older generations always say “life was simpler back then.” I grew up without a cell phone or social media. Without technology, my friends and I spent most of our time together making up our own things to do and goofing off. It is through such times that friendships are forged. In turn, these times form the foundation of our happiness and well-being.
Social media has its place, but it is beyond argument that our social interactions are meant to take place “in real life.” From an evolutionary standpoint, interacting through our smartphones and social media is incongruent with our natural heritage. Tween and teen depression, anxiety, and suicide rates are on the rise. While many factors are likely to be involved, it does appear that the adoption of smartphones and social media contribute to the problem. Kids — and adults — are spending more time on their phones and less time with one another in real life.
It’s Hard, But The Payoff Of Happiness Is Worth It
In a sense, we might consider happiness to be the “payoff” for building and maintaining healthy relationships. To receive this payoff, we must focus on our in-person connections. So, by acting more in line with our evolutionary heritage, we (and our friends!) are more likely to experience the payoff of happiness. While we can use our phones to facilitate our in-person connections, we must be careful not to let our phones undermine our in-person relationships. Like a plant, our friendships must be nurtured and cared for so that they can grow healthily. We can see the magic of friendship in the video for “Bros.” It’s up to us to learn the lesson from the video (yeah, I get the irony) and experience it for ourselves in real life. It takes some effort to carve out the time, but the payoff is worth it.