Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Social Inhibitions: Bad or Good?

I remember when being someone that respected others actually meant something. What I mean is that lately, I find that people seem to negate obligations (yes I think it is necessary) to treat people like they would like to be treated.

I don't know if it is the way media influences people, but people in general seem to not care how they treat others, or stop to realize how their actions actually HAVE consequences.

When I was younger, I was told by my parents to always be courteous to others, and treat them like you would want to be treated. This stuck with me, and I always showed respect for others. I mean, I open doors for women (it's the way I grew up), and I try not to offend people when I am talking to them. It seems that now, people have grown up without these notions, and they do not respect others. They say what they want, do what they please, and do not consider anything inbetween. What happened here? (insert article on this)

Personally, I just think people think they are being 'cool' or 'try to fit in.' Usually they are influenced by each other, and where do you think this all comes from? I think it comes from the media. Most figures that you see on TV or whatnot do not care about other people's feelings, they say what they want (ie: House from House M.D., and Bam Margera from Jackass). I think it is now becoming commonplace to view these stars as role models, and people growing up think it is right to act this way.

If you think about it, people think they are being very clever when they act without boundaries, but if you think about it, they have already played into mass media. They are acting like they are being influenced to do so. People that show humility and respect others are viewed as 'uncool.' In reality, the people that show respect for others are much more free than those that are mindlessly following trendy-social constructs.

It is time that we really looked at our popular media and realized that it is not just 'there for our entertainment,' because 90% of the time we are either being sold something, or being influenced to act a certain way/view a certain perspective (ie: the blocking of Ralph Nader in the SuperDelegates Open Debate)

Sidenote: While I argue against 'no bounds' interraction between people in this article, that is not to say that I do not think people should speak their opinion. There is a thin line between voicing your opinion and mindlessly harassing another person. When the line is crossed, that in particular, is what my article deals with.

I also would like to say that I do not think violent games/violent movies cause people to act violenting. Accordingly, I do not think that TV stars such as 'House' or 'Bam Margera' directly cause people to act with inhibitions, BUT they give those people, which are easily influenced, an example of how it is beneficial.


The Commentator said...

You're absolutely right.

Same with the political ideas. What passes off as 'alternative' really is 'mainstream.'

I try to be as polite and courteous as possible too. But I must admit it simply isn't reciprocated.

I'll add one thing to what your parents taught you (and mine.) During my post-secondary studies my father would give me extra cash to get by and he would always say in Italian, "if you're with people always offer something. Don't be foolish."

That stuck with me too.

DC said...

Your father was a very smart man.
Yes, the idea of reciprocating kindness is becoming a lost art.

I don't know if it cultural, mass media, etc. But something has changed in our society to make us cold to each other.

For instance, if someone looks like they need help (ie: with carrying furniture up a flight of stairs) I find that a lot of people will pass on by. To me, that is just horrible.

I think people have lost the ability to put themselves in the shoes of other people. They go around living in a bubble, and cannot see past their noses. I hope this trend reverses itself sometime soon though.