The concept of stress as an illness rather than an inevitable consequence of a busy lifestyle is a fairly modern consideration, and has no doubt evolved out of the increased knowledge and published findings that exist amongst the archives of the World Wide Web. However, this creates an interesting anomaly, as though portions of society are afforded more luxury, liberty and leisure time than ever before, the instances where stress is cited as a contributor to depression and illness continue to soar. This raises an interesting question about contemporary society, and whether the surfeits of information and leisure may eventually prove debilitating for individuals.
How Increasing Liberty may be Detrimental
Many historians have suggested the leisure and increased liberty have played a significant factor is rising crime rates throughout the centuries, where individuals have been forced to seek a diversity of ways to spend their free time. The insistence is that in more simple times of living, people would work up to 16 hours a day and beyond, leaving little or no time to devote to their own pursuits. Even the act of sex was considered as a purely functional entity rather than one to derive pleasure, and existed to procreate life and breed only.
So, as time and the standard of living has improved, so too leisure and liberty has been handed to individuals, with the result that some have been left feeling adrift, isolated and without purpose. This can be the trigger for various guises of anti social or violent behavior, either as a way to evoke comradeship amongst others or merely to assuage periods of boredom. With this in mind, it is easy to see how the gift of time and leisure can be potentially divisive, especially amongst young or unmotivated individuals.