Sunday, September 29, 2019
Have you ever heard of the term “call-out culture” or “outrage culture” or sometimes “cancel culture”. Right now it seems to be that there is a lot of intolerance in the world and lack of understanding on the part of people. With many talk shows and people on social media “ganging up” on groups of people that are not like them, don’t think like them, don’t act like them, don’t worship like them, don’t dress like them, don’t eat like them, don’t walk like them, don’t talk like them. This is very toxic. In an era when we’re supposed to be against cyber-bullying and bullying of any kind people don’t really have a way to defend themselves. We have to be worried about liberties for all even if they don’t necessarily match our views. And this type of behavior has been around for decades. There were crusades, and wars and other movements fought and human lives and time wasted in order to pursue some thought of perfection. Perhaps that included purification of a culture or thought, but ultimately this also leads to a dangerous precedent. Who is to say what is good or bad? Perhaps what was once thought of as a bad thought or behavior is actually good?
Think of time when this has happened:
- Martin Luther
These are far enough in time that you can understand without being so close that it is influencing current politics and lives, but you can see that some of these people were pursued or scrutinized because they didn’t fit the mode. They were not sheep and they did not adhere to one way or outlook. Basically they didn’t fit nice and neatly into a boxed agenda and the way people said they should do things. And that’s what made their thoughts and ideas radical and yet also important to protect for freedom.
Now take that on the opposite side. Many people can say what if a thought is pro-tolerance and pro-humanity that is obviously good it seems. But what if there are ideas that are not as apparent? Do we censor? Do we ban them? It is a harder thing. There have been social media platforms that struggle to find a balance and rules to enforce some limitation of possible damage and hurt feelings and disparagement but still encourage an open free forum. Where is freedom and when does it become a locked down dictatorship where everything is too “Batman serious”?
So Call-out culture can be seen as people publicly shaming people maybe for body image or a perception of being gross for example or not like us. We could call people out for hanging out with others we don’t like or care to associate with. We could call them out on social media and shame them. But is this really a good idea? All the above actions could happen, but does that contribute to society or should we live and let live? Should we adopt an attitude of laissez-faire and letting them do what they want.
Previous generations of parents often had a very strict way of parenting or using corporal punishment or spankings and such but now they don’t have that option for fear of being shamed of abuse. Or people that are shamed with cameras about leaving children in hot cars or pets with cell phone cameras. People are not sure what to do now. Really, people we don’t need everything to be taped or on camera. We used to deal with you and me and talking it out. We never had to involve cameras and public shaming and social media and escalation of issues.
And that is probably what is going on in these days, maybe we have over-public information. People used to maybe have an accident or maybe a child took a candy bar from a store and the parent would say you can’t steal. But now you might get someone filming you one a bus or doing something and it ends up all over social media and the evening news.
Another version of this public shaming and “call-out” culture is what’s called “cancel culture” which is a boycott of a product or item. You’ve seen that where perhaps someone didn’t agree with the way a sports star acted or behaved. Maybe they cheated or took a political view and you saw that a lot in the last few years with sports stars that crossed into political arenas maybe by accident or on purpose and also making their way into multimillion dollar commercials. We won’t mention any particular names but you can connect the dots and infer. People end up supporting the products even more or they want to ban all these products. You see that when there’s a violent event in the news and then a store might change their policy to remove certain products from the store to allay concerns etc. This is a form of shaming in one way and may or may not be good. We are not here to make moral judgments just to bring to your mental awareness and consciousness that such an event does occur.
Just because you don’t necessarily agree with a political party or view or individual or group and have a very strong say or celebrity stature or following you have to be careful of how you use that status. There’s a comic book quote that having a lot of power requires a lot of moderation of that responsibility. And so if you’re a blogger, journalist, TV talk show host, celebrity, social media influence, in a position of power or leader over others including being a manager or boss of someone, there will be followers (sheep) who will follow the herd mentality. And you have to duly vigilant about how you use your influence to sway people’s opinions. This is even more so with big social platforms such as those on FB, the ability to post tweets and gain massive followers or on video and picture platforms which or even the ability to toot on decentralize platforms. You have a massive amount of power.
No matter the how questionable or how unpopular an opinion is a person must be given a right to initially voice themselves or be heard in some way and defend themselves. After all in many places a person may have a reason or belief that is justified in some way.
If we all thought the same then we would be sheep and zombies.
It is true that some celebrities had unpopular opinions and this is also especially true of comedians that often say unpopular things or shocking things to get a laugh. If you’ve studied Shakespeare you often hear how the clown is the one that speaks the truth the most. So be careful when you oust or deny your friend or peer because they may be “ahead of the curve”.
You see people often ask for a take down of accounts and such. But again, perhaps a person just needs to know in some cases that maybe their opinion isn’t as “cool” as they thought it was. A person has a right to think and judge and change opinions and we should not all be “thought police” because who are we all to judge? Perhaps many years from now our views might be flawed.
Right now these social media oustings or cultural boycotts go along the lines of Black Mirror’s social credit scores and a person that’s a social media celeb or influencer or big name actor etc can go “socially bankrupt” or become ostracized from their group of peers which is the equivalent of casting someone out from a group, blackballing them, banishing them or expelling and kicking them out.
Many years ago when humans operated as packs in the “Stone Ages”, being cast out from your group basically meant leaving someone to die and unable to fend for themselves which is why it is so scary and devastating for many of these social media influencers because it meant:
- Public shaming
- Leaving their perceived friends and “online family”
- No views or being banned or blackballing of their accounts means no more ad or revenue stream from views and clicks
- Emotionally hurts them because it makes them have a loss of sense of purpose or connection to the community
Remember that we are not all born the same way, we can’t all run or talk or look alike. As George Carlin used to say, “Don’t these schools do enough damage making all these kids think alike, now they have to make them look alike too?” Watch his comedy and views about censorship and you can see that we need some differences and views to have us be prepared for when people don’t look or walk or think like us. We are more tolerant and accepting of the world now with the Internet now because we can see what people are REALLY like and there’s not anywhere to really hide. And we can see both the good and the bad and understand it better. Quite possibly the differences they have that they show you are doing you a favor in that now you know what to do or what not to do and are better equipped for that in the future. We fear what we do not understand so take the time to not immediately fight views that greatly differ because it may give insight into our human nature.