Going over your Facebook timeline for 2016, 2016 must have sucked. It was the year that you learned the most. It was the year everyone hurt you. It was the year you learned that people waste your time. It’s the year you realized who your true friends are, yada yada yada.
Between the elections, the Russian hacking, the deleted emails, Twitter deciding to shut down Vine, the Samsung phones exploding and Angelina filing for divorce, 2016 has been one heck of a year. Again let’s not forget the toll 2016 had on your personal life.
The Media lied: 2016 is NOT the worst ever
The people of the internet have agreed that 2016 is the worst year ever. The internet and the media agreed: click here and here and here and here and here for examples. Thanks mainly to Buzzfeed and John Oliver for starting this movement. But hold on let me tell you a secret.
The secret is, 2016 doesn’t really suck. It might have for a few people. I am sure it was the most terrible year ever for some people who had to deal with great losses or unforeseen circumstances in their lives or jobs. But most of you, you really haven’t had a bad year.
I am going to tell you reasons why we ended up thinking 2016 was literally the worst
1. The Social Media Effect
More and more people have been getting their news over social media, especially more this year, being an election year and having candidates who were very active in the US over socail media. More and more people were therefore on social media tracking their other non political friends complaining and complaining. Social media has increased the amount people air their dirty laundry and their complaining. So really we have just been seeing more of 2016 dirty laundry more than anything, and it’s stuck in our head because humans always retain negative emotions more.
2. 2016 is as Bad as all the Other Years
Scientifically, 2016 is as bad as any other year. Overall world economy is getting better, we are not plagued by World Wars or the spread of actual plagues (check out some actual terrible years in Western history). One of our favoritue artists die every year, someone always lose during elections (remember there is only one winner usually), our sports teams lose, our friends move away, etc.
For the past few years, every year people have been waiting eagerly for the new year. 2015, 2014, 2013, …. were all bad. Nobody really has a good year ever?! Or maybe only the people who write on social media complain?! Nonetheless there is no reason for you to believe that 2016 is worst than any of the years that you actually experienced.
3. You Have the Bias of Now
The love of now always seems the strongest. The heartbreaks of now are the most miserable. The lies of today are the most devastating. In media, the bias of now is when the media distorts the story of what already happened because they really can’t clarify the narrative but focus on a few events to focus on. Usually any actual story involes an epilogue and a prologue: two things we seem to forget. We focus on the now and we emphasize it and make it bigger and by doing so we amplify our feelings. It feels like that heartbreak, that love came from nowhere. We feel like that war started from no war. We feel like injustice just happened now. We forget to make relevant the past and always think that today and right now our feelings are the most important. This is why we always feel the end of this year is the worst.
4. 2016 is literally just a number
The biggest lie of 2016 is a lie we tell ourselves. It’s the lie that 2016 matters or mattered. 2016 is but just a number. January 1st is an arbitrary designation for the start of the year. It signifies nothing. It means nothing. But wait, what is your point?
There needs to be reason for us to celebrate January 1st. There needs to be no reason why we make decisions on new years (if you really wanted to make a change in your life and get better, you should have started already and should not have waited for 2017 to really change your life).
So stop thinking of life in chunks of years. The first day of 2017 is no different than the last day in 2016. Time is continous, there are no begining or end. It’s all abitrary and shouldn’t really affect you.
I invite you to reflect back on 2016 and think but also invite you to reflect everyday
As you do, think and share below your thoughts on 2016. Sorry John Oliver 2016 is not that bad. When you reflect, you will realize how much you accomplished those past 12 months. You should reflect tomorrow and every week. Make it a habit to always reflect on your life. Every day or every week or at least every month, think about your life. Don’t wait for the end of 2017 to reflect, because I tell ya everyone is going to tell you 2017 is the worst when 2017 ends.
I leave you on a good note with the the best quotes of 2016.