The happiness liars

A Norwegian blogger I’m following recently wrote about the importance of  teaching our children proper oral language in an entry titled Broken children. She wrote about her son and his kindergarten teacher. This teacher came from Kurdistan and spoke broken Norwegian with a lot of grammatical mistakes and a Russian tone. They both adored this teacher, but the mother felt she had to debug the child every afternoon. There are many reasons why that is important, one of them has to do with how others perceive us. We are partly talking about image, which is important to most people

I saw a series of TV-commercials a while back . I believe it was advertisement for a bank. The point in the films were that they had to come up with something new to attract young customers, and to create a contrast they had this bank be run by some old men who really didn’t know what they were doing. They boasted to young potential customers that they had an SMS-service and the way they put it you knew they didn’t have a clue.

But it seems like that’s how it works in business these days. Everyone wants a web site, be active on social media and have an SMS service. The problem is the content because often there isn’t any. There are some that have full-time employees only working on updating websites, facebook and twitter-accounts . I think the political parties are following that strategy. I don’t know why this is so important because it usually doesn’t result in a  two-way communication.

I once heard that there was a bar in Oslo, where you could order pints by SMS and have it delivered to your table. It strikes me as an unnecessary service. It probably had a lot to do with image. I think they wanted to demonstrate that this was a bar for young people. The content doesn’t always matter. It seems to be more important to show that they offer a modern service.

Many Norwegian bloggers have written about a false image lately. We have a tendency to present ourselves as more successful than we are. It means that we are more concerned with the person we are on facebook, twitter and blog etc. while our real life is pushed into the the background. It struck me that companies are engaged in the same pursuit for the perfect, happy life . Maybe it is corporations and organisations that locomote this train forward. Everything is happening in the social media today. That’s where people are, and to reach these you must be on social media too. Companies must be where the action is. It doesn’t exactly increase the level of true content on facebook and twitter .

This reminds me a bit about a scene from one of my favorite series ( both in terms of books and movies), Harry Potter. At Hogwart , the school for wizards and witches, Harry Potter found a mirror. It was the so-called Mirror of Erised, which shows you what you want more than anything in the world, unless you’re happy. Then you only see yourself the way you are. Harry was an orphan and naturally what he saw was himself together with his parents. Many see themselves as having perfect lives when they look into the social media.

One of the reasons I like Harry Potter is that there is a lot of good advice there. In this case, professor Dumbledore says that it does not pay to dwell too long on dreams and forget to live. I guess I can’t say I have achieved the same myself, but that’s what my goal is . When it comes to the professional liars, the world of business, we consumers have a lot of power. Using that power and responsibility isn’t easy, though.


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