Tag Archives: teenagers

Fast food culture – calories that make you happy

   Who have never been to the McDonald’s in his or her life? Or never ate in that hot-dog stand nearby? I suppose hardly anyone. Modern lifestyle revolving around tasks and deadlines, makes us more impatient, caring more about the speed than about quality. It can be applied not only to food, but also to the work done or services. But is this the only reason why we spend so much time and money in such restaurants?

   Junk food overflows the world. We don’t want (or we cannot afford) to eat in fancy restaurants where you have to spend quite a sum on a dinner which will be probably too small for your liking. Let alone time required to prepare that boeuf stroganoff you ordered. We want our food to be quick, cheap and in large size. The fact that it is harmful for our health, containing a lot of calories and saturated fats is only a minor drawback. If you only have twenty minutes to eat something in between two meetings with clients who ensure your safe place at work, you won’t be worried about how healthy your diet is. But as you think of it, fast foods are not stuffed with businessmen and women. It is full of teenagers. image  
  Let’s not forget that the main reason we eat out is to socialise. Young people crowd in Mc Donald’s after school or during holidays as there is not many places to go, especially if you don’t live in a big city. Besides, since early childhood we were taken for a cheeseburger and cola by our parents as a reward for being polite or doing some houseworks. This way, we always see junk food as something special and when we can go there by our own, we do it a lot. Sometimes I see mothers with children as young as four or five years, ordering Happy Meals with a nice toy. That’s just another reason why we like to eat junk food that much – we associate it with that careless times when we had so much fun playing and spending time with our parents.   

The popularity of fast food restaurants, which is part and parcel of our globalized world, makes local food industry disappear. Some countries defend themselves against this phenomenon, as France does, but of little avail. Even in Israel the burger industry is big, swerving the kosher meat – as the religious tradition requires. There’s no way of stopping it. Fast food culture is something we associate with modern world as much as social media, smartphones and watching TV every evening.

   As a result, the percentage of obese people with health problems is constantly growing. Those whose habit is to drop by and leave with a paper bag full of salt, sugar, fats and calories are susceptible to future weight problems, heart attacks, high blood pressure and many more. But healthy food is not necessarily expensive, although in some cases  may be, but it surely requires time and effort. But for the good physique and general condition it is worth it. Cook something by yourself on a regular basis and enjoy some burger now and then. All within reason and you will be in good shape for a long time.   

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Literature? Who on earth reads books?

Computers make the world go around. We cannot live without technology, and I don’t mean the teenagers who wouldn’t be able to check their facebook and instagram accounts anymore. It is everywhere and we are completely dependent on it, as it is necessary in so many areas of life – a doctor use their computer programs to analyze the progress of chemotherapy, a stockbroker needs the Internet to observe changes on the market, a librarian use achieves to find a particular book. Most schools use various programs and tools which facilitate the learning process. Some teachers are even unable to make lessons without their notebook with access to Internet. Moreover, we should bear in mind that in the world there’s more ‘virtual’ money than we can back up by the real currency. If the system goes down, our money stored in banks will simply disappear, leading in riot and social unrest.

Generally speaking, technology makes our lives easier and is a very positive phenomenon. But since we can do almost everything with it, we are getting more and more lazy. What’s the point in calculating anything if a computer can do it for you and in addition will highlight the most important figures? The danger starts when one doesn’t see the reason in reading books if he can surf the net instead.

Young people tend to spend more time behind the screen (on their PCs, tablets, smartphones or other devices enabling quick connection to the Web) than the adults, wasting huge amounts of time playing Angry Birds, liking their friends’ photos on facebook or chatting online. It is said that the generations that grew up with computers are less intelligent, less sociable and less read. Teenagers take no interest in reading books. Their knowledge about literature ends with some information about set books the teachers told them, because few of them have read it themselves. And if they have some story on paper ( or online, e-books are becoming more and more popular) it is mostly not Waiting for Godot, but something more like Twilight or Fifty shades of grey. The popularity of these kind of literature is unbelievable. Even if there are novels written by young ambitious writers, it usually doesn’t receive great popularity, which only vampire stories can attain. But maybe what is popular should not be of quality, but be written in simple language and tell the simple stories – of romance, cheating, family feud or school life. And all the characters are just like hundred similar before and after. Plastic hero in plastic story for plastic people in plastic world. The literature has been dethroned. Using the newest iPad is cool, reading books is not.
Fortunately, printed word is not yet completely forgotten
We cannot ascribe this phenomenon only to the Internet, although it is responsible for enormous part of it. The second is the way we are educated – since every employer wants a specialist in one particular domain, nobody cares about general knowledge. Nobody requires a lawyer to know how many orbitals the atom of hydrogen has or the chemist to know who the Frederick Nietzsche was. Nobody ain’t time for reading, especially if the set books were an unpleasant experience back in the day. Since that time, novels and poetry are things considered ‘for swots only’. But wouldn’t it be good if all citizens of a country knew the most important figures for their homeland’s history? One might ask what for. For the sake of knowledge itself. An educated person should know certain things.

There is, though, a lot of social campaigns encouraging people to read and they have been largely successful in many countries of Europe. It is very important to emphasize the importance of reading in our lives, as the activity that enriches our vocabulary and imagination, simultaneously widening our horizons and sometimes even changing our views on world. Let’s not forget that literature makes the culture.