Let’s Change the World!

One of my motivations for starting this blog was all of the social commentary I have floating around in my head. I am not often one to ruffle feathers. Far from it, I usually back down as soon as anyone makes any form of meager attempt to intimidate me out of my opinion. Not that my opinion changes, but I always decide that it’s not worth the stress to carry on with the discussion. Nevertheless, I have all these thoughts and I’d like to express them somewhere. Constructive criticism is welcome, but try to play nice, ok? :p

I’d like to begin by sharing with you the exact moment I decided that I should start this blog. It was shortly after the Nickelodeon star, Drake Bell, tweeted about Caitlin Jenner. Something to the effect of “Sorry, still calling you Bruce.”

I don’t know Drake personally. I don’t know his intentions with that tweet. Was it a deliberate cry for (negative) publicity? Was he just trying to be funny (referencing an old episode of “Drake and Josh” when his character made a similar comment)? Did he mean it out of respect for who Caitlin used to be or out of disrespect for who she is now?

These are all the things that go through my head (most of the time) long before I consider commenting on an issue. Usually, the trending scandal of the day is old news by the time I formulate a comment worth sharing.

As you can imagine and/or know, Drake’s comment was flooded with negative replies. Very little, if any constructive criticism. People tend to go immediately into attack mode. But this is so unbelievably counter productive that I can’t understand why the majority does it. Let’s assume for a moment that Drake really does take issue with Caitlin’s transformation. Such a position results from a combination of mankind’s natural reaction to things outside the sphere of “normal” according to a given culture and enforcement of this reaction by a person’s inner circle or life experiences. You can’t just tell someone off for being too close minded and expect any thing to change. Don’t we want change? Isn’t the general idea that we, as a species are on a quest to improve our situation? If you are the first person in the world with a novel thought or opinion, you and the idea will die together if your only method of sharing it is to tell every one off who doesn’t already share your opinion.

I think it’s wonderful that the western world is becoming more progressive, more accepting of what is not the norm. But this acceptance, itself, is also not the norm. I think we forget that sometimes. We assume that everyone should already be loving of diversity. The belief that it “should be” so is what is preventing it from actually being so. The people who attacked Drake believe that he should already know better. I don’t know, maybe he should. But as I said before, I don’t know his exact situation. Maybe he tweeted before thinking and his apology was genuine. Everyone is guilty of saying something from time to time not aware of the exact connotation of their words. But I digress. We are assuming here that he really meant offense by the words. In which case, the best response is not to attack, but to present food for thought or constructive criticism. Explain, without an attitude, why he should reconsider his opinion. This is how change takes place. Everyone thinks they are right unless convinced otherwise. Attacking someone for what they think is the right opinion will only cause them to close themselves off from further dialog.

What is even more crazy to me than attacking over major social issues, is attacking over petty things. Why in the world has the internet become a place for us to forget how to be decent? It’s just baffling. Sometime last year, I watched a video clip of some dude holding a baby deer that he had found caught in some bushes. Someone commented that he was a complete idiot and shouldn’t he know that’s not how you handle a baby deer. Well geez, I dunno about you, but I don’t know the proper handling techniques of various animal species. All I know is what my common sense tells me. There was no malicious intent in the video and as far as I could tell, he was trying to help. Why, seriously, why does everyone feel the need to attack over every petty thing? Is it just the feeling of power they get via anonymity? It’s one thing to be a troll and enjoy stirring people up for the sake of it, but what about the comments that seem to imply a desire for something else? Like the desire that a baby deer be handled properly and people be educated on such things? People need to stop being so vicious online or off and engage in a dialog of substance rather than a dead end attack.

I hope that anyone reading my blog keeps this in mind as I post more of my own possibly controversial thoughts. 🙂

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Posted on June 24, 2015, in Social Commentary and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. well to be honest i am also baffled by this whole revision of “gender” going on in liberal parts, which caused the definition to go from binary to basically infinite possibilities, from genetically defined to “whatever you want”. it does take some time to get used to if someone who looks for example genetically male talks to you and tells you that the “she” word is preferred (thank goodness in Hungarian the he/she word is gender neutral). I dont think im that old neither, it is just indeed a very big change, and since it does not affect me on a personal level i need to learn to get along with it. HOWEVER I also see no reason to start petty internet wars on it. That does not contribute to the cause for either side. The people attacking Drake will only convince him further that he is right, because all those who are for it are immature “internet warrior”s.

    (sorrz for the essay 😛 )

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    • I should probably add that I was not necessarily trying to argue that drake is wrong and needs correcting. Although, I tend to be slightly more on the “you are whatever you want to identify side,” I admit that this is also still an opinion. Right and wrong and matters of morality are entirely human constructed and not universally defined. What is at issue here, which you already picked up on, is that as the popular conception of right and wrong changes, we can’t expect everyone else to just jump on board willingly. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this Shelley. Could not put it any better myself!

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  3. “What is even more crazy to me than attacking over major social issues, is attacking over petty things. Why in the world has the internet become a place for us to forget how to be decent? ”
    I suspect it’s because the internet allows us to lose inhibition. Uninhibited reactions come across as extremely harsh because they come out before we have a chance to nuance and polish them, or to let our better sense eject them.

    Like

    • Yeah, but that’s so weird though. I am more likely to be uninhibited in person than online. Online, one has the opportunity to edit their thoughts, cancel them before posting, etc. the very act of putting thoughts into typed form requires more contemplation than saying them outright. I think it’s more about the lack of having to deal, in any authentic sense, with the responses and feelings of the one being attacked. There’s a basic human element lost when interactions are impersonal. I have related thoughts about modern warfare (vs ancient hand to hand combat).

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are a rare bird…excellent. 🙂
        Honestly, I believe you exercise wisdom in this. To be the devil’s advocate, do people act the way they do online in other impersonal situations? Such as when writing letters?
        “the very act of putting thoughts into typed form requires more contemplation than saying them outright.”
        Not if you use enough texting abbreviations.

        Like

      • Letter writing was usually between family and friends. It was also an art form of sorts that required a certain amount of etiquette. How common is letter writing anymore today? I actually don’t know this. A combination of text speak (as you pointed out) and little to no personal relationship (as I already mentioned) is unique to most internet correspondence. I’ll have to give more thought to the correlations 🙂

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