Were you one of the 12.8 million people who watched the climax of the TV series Line of Duty the other day? Or do you prefer romance to crime? There’s a reason why these two genres are so popular, and it has a lot to do with the world situation.
A worldwide IPSO poll in March 2021 revealed that the top five worries were:
- Corona virus (45%)
- Unemployment (37%)
- Poverty and Social inequality (31%)
- Financial/political corruption (29%)
- Crime and violence (24%)
The thread tying all these topics together is a feeling of being powerless. The roll-out of vaccination worldwide may reduce our chances of catching Corona, but it doesn’t help those families that have already been affected, and those who are still suffering. The virus has had knock-on effects on unemployment, poverty, and social inequality which can be expected to last for a long time.
If you can’t find a job, self-employment can provide a way out of poverty but being your own boss is hard, relentless work, with no guarantee of success. It also relies on the honesty of the financial and political systems, and your customers. There’s always someone who is keen to redistribute your wealth by way of theft or corruption. After struggling to earn your daily bread, it can be a fight keep hold of it.
These worries can make everyday life feel like a game of chance. Escaping with crime dramas or romance on TV, or within the pages of a book is the perfect antidote. Complicated motives are exposed, twists turned, crimes solved, partnerships forged, and unlike real life, we know all the loose ends will be neatly tied up— apart from the ones with hooks, left dangling to tempt us into watching the next series, or reading the next book!
The next time you can’t sleep for worrying about the ways of the world, try visiting a fictional version. Watching TV, or reading a good book won’t make the international news any less disturbing, but it will make your worries about it a little easier to bear.
How do you deal with the worries that keep you awake at night?
2 thoughts on “What Keeps You Awake at Night?”
As a nurse, as soon as Covid became a ‘thing’, I worried every second, day and night. The different measures we had to initiate at work, stripping in the hall as soon as I came home, the absolute fear that I would bring it home to my family…
My relaxation time has been full of writing and of reading. I have never read so much! I have become quite insular this past year, only going to work, and standing outside my parents’ home, waving at them through the window.
I had to stop watching the news.
The combination of creating my own fiction and of reading so many wonderful books has honestly kept me sane at a time when I could easily have slipped into something bleak and dark.
That’s such a moving story, Robbie, thanks for sharing it. I hope you and all your family have managed to stay safe. Reading and writing really does help, doesn’t it? I hope you’ve now been reunited with your parents. Sending grateful thanks to you, and all your fellow health professionals.