We are living in an age in which crying in public is seen as hysterical, wrong and downright annoying.
People turn to stare at you but, when they see the tears start to fall, they immediately turn up their noses and let out disconcerting sighs.
Well, do you know something? Crying, shouting, bleeding, sneezing — these are are all human instincts that should be expressed! And this is a place where I think our society is failing: we have lost touch with our own human emotions. People will walk on by just to avoid the drama.
Humans nowadays are selfish, including me. To a certain extent we all have to be selfish in order to survive. Who else will earn money for you, feed you, clothe you? After the age of 18 it’s not your parents who look after you: it’s all down to you.
Whilst scrolling down my Facebook feed I came across a video of a homeless man speaking to a member of the public. He said he was in prison and, when he got out, society rejected him. He couldn’t get a job or a place to live because he was a felon. Paedophiles were getting housing but he wasn’t. I was angry on his behalf.
He approached a woman to ask for the time and her reaction was to scream at him and say, “I have no money, go away!” All he wanted was the time. At this point, I started to cry: what has happened to humanity?
All the trust in people has vanished and the only safety net we have now is the cool glow of a computer screen. Whilst sitting behind these screens, we can create alternate personas. Even if they’re based on a web of lies that come together to make this ‘virtual you,’ society still deems it to be okay.
We can use the Internet to chat to each other, upload pictures and show everyone how much “fun” we’re having, so why do we need to meet up anymore? I stood in a group of people who were attempting to “catch up” with each other and all I kept hearing was, “Oh yeah, I saw that on Facebook,” or, “I got that Snapchat!’ So… why are we talking? You’ve seen it all before.
But people are not equipped to handle the darker side of emotion. When somebody is down on Facebook or sends a depressed Snapchat, everyone disappears.
I wish more people would meet up with friends, hug and kiss their loved ones. I wish they would put down their phones and have real conversations about the world, about the amazing things they’ve done and are yet to do.
From a young age we have been encouraged to “suck it up,” “act strong” and not to show people our weakness, but how are emotions a sign of weakness? Surely they are a sign that we have separated ourselves from animals: one of the main differences between us and say, a spider, is that we have been able to develop our emotions.
I cry, and I am not ashamed to cry. I am not ashamed to be angry, frustrated, stressed, anxious, elated… If we are allowed to be happy, then why not experience the hundreds of other emotions that go along with happiness?
An article written by Eleanor Margolis for the New Statesman sums up crying in public, and it has to do with gender:
“But why is public crying so shameful? For me, I’ve realised, it’s partly a gender thing. Being seen (even by complete idiots) as a woman who can’t hold it together is, well, extremely shitty.”
Recently, I have been made to feel ashamed for expressing myself, but I am not a person who hides her feelings. Sometimes, we also need to take a step back and say, “Maybe the other person is having a hard time as well.”
Just think about the amount of stress each one of us goes through: problems with money, education, jobs, exams, relationships..the list is never-ending. Of course we need to cry. I know some people in the world make it their goal to cry at least once a day, as pent-up emotion will only lead to an outburst, more than likely at the most inopportune time and place.
Tonight, I propose you watch a sad film, read an emotive book, talk to someone who needs you and thrive in the emotions that each one of us are programmed to express, no matter what they end up being.
And, remember: big girls AND boys do cry.
— Sophie Ogden