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The busy syndrome

There was a time not really that long ago when people were actually happy to see other people. When the doorbell rang, siblings would race to the front door to get there first to open it. Benevolent mothers would bring out the special biscuits which were reserved only for guests. Fathers would rise from their hallowed armchairs to help usher their guests in. In short, the whole family would congregate at the front of the house in excitement to see who had thought of them and decided to pop by. Those days are over; now, we are just too busy.

I don’t remember when the too busy syndrome started but I’m pretty sure the dawn of the internet had something to do with it. All of a sudden, we were constantly bombarded with social interactions that we didn’t necessarily want to have and that in turn made us feel like we had spent all day communicating with people when in fact, pretty much the opposite is true. People started hoarding their alone time like jealous lovers and telling everyone else that they were simply too busy to meet.

Maybe we should all make an effort to not be so busy that we forget to live our lives

Unfortunately, what started out as a very human need for alone time has spread like a plague of locusts in a cornfield. Quite recently, a group of us wanted to organise a get together: the problem was that we simply couldn’t set a date. After days and days of coddling and cajoling and having people tell me that they were busy, I lost it and started asking them what they were going to be busy doing. I was greeted with a flurry of the most superfluous pile of tosh I had ever heard with excuses ranging from ‘I’m going to the supermarket’ to one person telling me that their dog doesn’t like spending too much time alone. When the date was finally agreed upon, the flakiness got even worse with some actually cancelling an hour into the evening.

Now, I get that no two people’s priorities are alike and I’m able to respect that to a point, but to be honest, I would be much happier if people just said that they didn’t want to come than literally blame the dog. The problem is that things which were once thought to be unbearably rude have become remarkably commonplace and it’s all in the name of being too busy. Of course, everyone gets tired, however, people no longer seem to want to try a little harder when it comes to meeting people who they supposedly do actually want to see. There are some who are genuinely busy and who barely get a night to themselves, but I find that they are usually the ones that try a bit harder to meet their friends when they have the chance to. Maybe we should all make an effort to not be so busy that we forget to live our lives.

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