thoughts

Whatever happened to common sense?

I used to joke that common sense isn’t very common anymore. These days, it seems that it holds true. With people spending more time on the Internet than watching tv, it seems like common sense has gone the way of the dodo bird. Extinct.

Social media is exciting. Very exciting, in fact. But somehow, seemingly ‘normal’ people turn into ‘not so normal’ people when it comes to Facebook, Twitter and the likes. It’s like normal decency doesn’t exist anymore.

I’ve lost count of the number of inappropriate Facebook statuses I’ve read. Those that involve bodily functions, or those that are just TMI. Too much info for anyone else to read.

I read the whole Amy Cheong debacle with interest because well, it was all over the news, and social media. It was hard to avoid. I got reminded of a song in Avenue Q called ‘Everyone’s a little racist’. Go YouTube it. The song made me chuckle because I agree with the lyrics:

Everyone’s a little bit racist
Sometimes.
Doesn’t mean we go
Around committing hate crimes.
Look around and you will find
No one’s really color blind.
Maybe it’s a fact
We all should face
Everyone makes judgments
Based on race.

Please don’t lynch me. I’m not advocating racism! I’m just saying that everyone single one of us grew up with stereotypes and we are always judging people based on how they look, the colour of their skin, how they dress, the brand of bag they carry, the list goes on. I will be the first to admit that I am not faultless. The difference is, thankfully, the majority of us don’t go around posting race/religion-related hate messages all over social media.

Amy Cheong said that she was feeling tired and frustrated, hence that offensive status update on Facebook. Seriously? We are all adults and adults are able to think, control our feelings and know how to do the right thing. Or at least I think that’s what adults are supposed to behave. Just because you are frustrated and tired doesn’t give you the right to post insensitive and thoughtless words on a platform that is seen by many. Sadly, she’s not the only out there. There are many Amy Cheongs around except that they have gone under the radar and she got into the (very hot and glaring) spotlight.

My point is, you have your opinion, and I have mine. Don’t shove your opinions down my throat and I’d do the same. Agree to disagree, you know? This used to be much easier before social media exploded onto the scene. On a daily basis, there is some sort of rant on Facebook from a friend (I use that term loosely, in Facebook terms) that borders on being inappropriate.

Sharing is good but over sharing is not. I don’t need to know every single activity you are involved in, nor the type of food you have just eaten (unless it’s so damn awesome, then it is your responsibility to share it with everyone). We also don’t need to read vague, angsty statuses that begs your ‘concerned friends’ to ask “Oooh, what happened?” or “Are you ok?”. If you need to speak to someone, pick up the phone and call your (real) friend. Or send a text message. Heck, send an email! I really don’t get Facebook users who use the status function as an Agony Aunt outlet for really personal issues. Maybe someone needs to define the term ‘personal issues’ clearly.

Someone told me that social media is an outlet of ‘release’ for these people. My question is: What did they do pre-Facebook/Twitter? Why does social media make it ok to suddenly behave in a constantly whiny, angsty manner? Key word: Constantly.

We all whine and get angsty. Truth. But take a look at your Facebook statues and Twitter updates. Go on, take a count. How many percent of those are whiny/ranting/angsty entries? If it’s more than 50%, then I’m sorry but I need to hide you from my Facebook updates, or un-follow you. And if you are annoyed by my postings and pictures, go ahead and hide me. Heck, delete me as a friend. I’d be ok. My life is not validated by how many friends I have on Facebook because surprise, surprise, I actually have real, breathing friends.

I have also been taught early in life that when you have nothing good to say, don’t say. It’s a very simple mantra but many do not seem to understand it. The big hooha over Amy Cheong will die down someday but let it be a good reminder that one does not need to share every single thought in your head. You can leave that for your psychiatrist.

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4 thoughts on “Whatever happened to common sense?

  1. Lol. What I find really weird is: people holding private conversations on Facebook. Like the ones who ask their other halves if they’d like to do this weekend via their Facebook “status”. Surely there must be a better way to get in touch with your other half than through a mass, and public, post on Facebook?

    In any case, I think with social media, the responsibility seems to have shifted to the receiver of information, to block out what she/he does not want to receive.

    1. Yes, I find that very strange too (couples chatting to each other in public using FB). Or people who have private conversations on FB! WEIRD. And yes, I have now resorted to blocking off a lot of status updates. Pfffft.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with your post. Recently I was on the receiving end of lots of angsty, vague statuses on FB till I had to confront the person and ask if it warrants a phonecall (my call was declined) to clear things up. Somehow social media makes it okay to hide behind a keyboard to post nasty messages and frustrations. I don’t get it. Time to weed out I guess.

    1. Just saw your comment, Natasha! Jeez. I need to dust the cobwebs off this blog of mine. Oh dear, your phone call was declined? That’s just…odd. Social media gets too much sometimes, really.

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