I can't say what it was like for the rest of the world, but in London—back when you had to watch the horse-racing in black and white and Mary Poppins was still alive—kids never really got to be kids at all. They slid straight out of the womb into a pair of poorly-heeled, porn-dick-stiff fake leather shoes and were left there on the hospital floor to fend for themselves until they were strong enough to haul themselves to their feet and walk out of that children's ward as men. Albeit men who were just the right size to fit in chimneys.
In those days, you could understand why 86 percent of young adults might consider themselves depressed. But the recent news that precisely that percentage of 25 to 35 year olds spend their time traipsing through life dreaming of the day their mortgage is paid off so they can afford enough old rope to hang themselves with came as a shock to me.
According to the internet, I have 765 friends, all of them roughly that age. If this survey's findings are to be trusted, 658 of my 765 friends are depressed. A quick scan of Facebook reveals minor complaints from someone who got a bad haircut, and another guy who can't get the new Kate Bush album, but I know that none of them can be truly suicidal, because I "unfriended" all the prime candidates for that a long time ago. No one needs that depressing shit clogging up their feed.
Here's an idea: perhaps we're not a generation of depressives at all. Maybe we're just too used to being happy, and have grown so used to doing what we want, when we want, that we've lost our tolerance for doing stuff that we don't want to do? With that in mind, here are a few words of advice that will hopefully prevent "your story" climaxing with the words: "…before turning the gun on himself."
NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU OR YOUR LIFE
It's true. Look past the constant faux-concerned patter of the online social archives you spend your life pumping inanities into, the mobile phone tariffs tailor-made to suit your needs. In reality, unless you're a freak who everyone can laugh at on television, no one cares about you, your needs, or "your story." A pretty liberating thought, right? Your parents will die before you do, and when that happens there will be no one alive on this Earth to perpetuate the lie that anyone cares about you more than they care about themselves. Because they don't.
YOU WILL NEVER DO ANYTHING IMPORTANT WITH YOUR LIFE
"Plenty of people are going to say the quarterlife crisis doesn't exist," Damian Barr, author of the book Get It Together: A Guide to Surviving Your Quarterlife Crisis declared. "The truth is that our 20s are not as they were for our parents, ten years of tie-dye fun and quality 'me' time." Or, to paraphrase, the times we're living in are dull and unimportant. Britain hasn't been under attack since 1945, so there's nothing to divide us from our parents. We're one amorphous, inglorious squib of bodies hooked up to the affluence hivemind. Pretty liberating, right? Can't you feel the pressure melting away?
In historical terms, if you were born in the 80s or 90s, your life will be remembered less than the technology you're gormlessly feeding it through. The internet and mobile phones—evaporating art! Deus ex machina! Words written in the wind! If you're reading this, you're human, and humans will never be able to compete with that.
EVERYONE YOU'RE ATTRACTED TO WOULD RATHER HAVE SEX WITH THEIR LAPTOP THAN YOU
Why would anyone wanna put in the effort to lure you into bed when they're just a plug socket and a wi-fi connection away from Audrey Bitoni or Whitezilla? But don't worry—so are you. Do you see that? Look at it go! It's the drive to procreate drifting away like a balloon that's slipped from the loving grasp of the child you'll never have.
YOU'LL ALWAYS HAVE A BOSS
You'd be a fool to try to start up your own company now that the recession's hit. And because someone burned all the pension money, your boss will now be your boss for ten years longer than he would have been three years ago. By the time the baton is passed down to you, you'll be so knee-deep in marriage and mortgage debt that you won't even be able to enjoy the perks of being the boss. Instead, you'll just have the stress of dealing with a generation of people denied university educations who all hate fat old you and the lah-dee-da 2:2 in Sports Science you picked up from Nottingham Trent. Enjoy the stress while you can. It'll kill you quickly enough.
Alternatively, maybe there's no real cause for concern because this study was based on a sample of 1,100 people these "scientists" found on Gumtree. They're on Gumtree, you idiots. Of course they're going to be depressed. Have you seen the rent prices in London recently?