https://p.feedblitz.com/r3.asp?l=188734528&f=1081591&c=8648412&u=55703776. For decades, marketers (and politicians) have been working to amplify cultural distress, a hack on our emotions. Not the tragic emotional distress of being unable to care for your kids, find a place to live or deal with trauma, but the invented cultural distress of modern industrialized societies. This is the easily created shame of not having a new suit to wear to the garden party, or having to use an old model smartphone instead of the new one. It’s the dissatisfaction of knowing that something ‘better’ is available, and the invented discontent that comes from the peer pressure of being left out or left behind. Or it might be the social shame that comes from not having a big enough presence on social media, or the fomo that watching other people presenting nothing but happiness online can create. Fear of this sort of cultural distress pushes us to simply spend money to avoid it. “Making a budget is hard, paying for not making one is easy.“ - Seth Godin. It turns out that selling an easy and convenient way to avoid social pain is a nearly boundless formula for corporate growth. And so people with a lot of resources are still unhappy, because they succumb to invented narratives about cultural distress–and then, once they buy something to avoid it, discover that it’s still there. Marathon runners don’t complain about the tired, because getting tired is a necessary component of a well-run race. And human beings are always going to find moments of cultural distress, and it’s up to each of us to decide what to trade (in the short run and the long run) to deal with it. Perhaps it makes sense simply to acknowledge that it’s present.