“I’m Out of My Depth”: One Phrase and the Destruction of Modern Society

“Depth” is one of those terms that is, by nature, deep. Here are a few of my choice phrases to illustrate my point:

a) “There’s a lot of depth to that character”

b) “There’s some beautiful creatures in the hidden depths of the sea”

c) “Johnny Depth is the best value for money if you can’t afford Johnny Depp at your kid’s party”

d) “I’m out of my depth”

See my point? It’s just one of those words that, much to the delight of English students, has numerous meanings depending on how one uses it. Nowadays though I’m hearing more and more people use phrase D on a day-to-day basis. If it’s not friends or colleagues it’s being heard through my own lips. I’ll spare you all the details right now, but I’m currently in the middle of organising a large summer ball by myself. I know that when Saturday 6th August rolls round it’ll be a great night, but boy am I looking forward to the Sunday when I can finally sleep. What with the caterers, DJ, photographers, budgeting and all the rest, it genuinely feels like I’m planning my own wedding. Never have centre pieces forms just an integral stress point in my life. Planning this large event on top of a busy job was never going to be easy, but I never planned to feel this swamped by it all.

It’s because I’m feeling so overwhelmed with it all that I’m turning, alongside an increasing large number of people, so hobbies and past times that are typically shallow-depth. Shallow reality TV, staying in with a tea and/or wine or spending evening after evening staring at social media pages. Activities we do to unwind, activities which demand nothing from us and in exchange give us nothing. We (well I say we, it’s probably just I), we tell people the next day we did nothing in the evening. We then beat ourselves up over a wasted evening, ignoring the fact that we did nothing because we were too mentally and physically exhausted to do much else. We compensate by working hard (self-inflicted and/or imposed), only to then get home and repeat the same process to balance out the frustration. It all serves to create an endless cycle of self-loathing.

So, why is this the case now? I mean, back in the medieval ages peasants still had their day-to-day problems, but I’m pretty sure the transcripts don’t record Joseph Nobody as saying, “today I had to harvest the crops and then pray to God and have my wife feed me. It’s been the same for 20 years but I’m really out of my depth here.”

Is it society that’s putting us in situations where we’re made to feel out of our depth, or are we choosing to venture to the deep end of the pool? Maybe it could even be a combination of both? The downfall of a greedy species, striving for nothing more than praise and shinny coins? If that’s the case, I’d rather be a dog.

What about the long term issues? Too much stress has many health implications, too numerous and predictable for me to mention here, but it also is changing our social interactions. We stay in at home, watching mind numbing TV, doing not a lot. For instance, right now I’m watching yet another episode of Dinner Date and yet I still can’t make a dinner more adventurous than a tuna baguette. If I’m not at least picking up some culinary skills with a show called DINNER Date then I don’t know why I’m even bothering with this. (In my defence, I’ve been stressing about this summer ball all day – AND THERE YOU HAVE IT, I’VE JUST DEFINED THE POINT I’M MAKING!!) Anyway, instead of balancing the stress of life, opting for shallow hobbies/interests only make us into shallow human beings. We switch off by switching off. Social media, Tinder, Vines, they all give us an instant hit of short-term pleasure but nothing fulfilling. We’re losing our ability to engage in conversation and interact with other human beings because our lifestyles are taking away our very human elements. When you analyse it it’s pretty deep stuff, right?

And where does the destruction of modern humanity and society all begin? With one phrase:

“I’m out of my depth.”

Written in response to word prompt of the day Depth

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