If there is one thing that forty years on planet earth has taught me, it’s so very important to just be yourself! The other night, Sunday evening to be precise, I opened a can of worms with my personal thoughts on feminism and American sailors. Long story short, it upset a number of people and led to me being sent multiple messages wishing me a slow and painful death by cancer, mental illness, plane crashes, ill health towards my family and finally, just general wishes that I would die.
Would I dare retract my original views? Never! Why? Because they are part of my belief system and what I am about. Of course it’s not expected that we will always agree with what everyone else thinks, feels or believes but in 2017, we are faced more than ever before with the classic mob mentality. People have been driven so far into the realms of stupidity by way of television, bling and the mainstream news that they are forgetting to not only think for themselves but, respect other views and opinions without resorting to wishing cancer and death upon those people who come from differing views and feelings. We should however, be encouraging multiple points of view and warming to the idea of discussing topics without things going sour.
The sad part of Sunday nights discussion, debate or whatever it turned into, is that it was reduced to some people pointing out the number of “likes” particular points of view were obtaining. That alone reinforces the mob mentality attitudes of so many people in society today. Social media users feel vindicated when their comments are “liked” or “loved”. For some, it can be the difference between a good day and a bad day. Personally, I find this approach incredibly narcissistic and vein. It should never matter how many “likes” you garner through the screen of a smart phone. What should matter is that you hold firm to your beliefs and stop trying to be liked by everyone for the sake of being liked. Our modern world is full of people who are easily offended. They enshrine themselves within the confines of smart phones and tablets for their experiences. More than ever before, benign TV shows (if you can call them that) attract the majority of our spare time, we live in an ever increasing society of obese people yet we have record numbers of health facilities opening up, our levels of credit card debt sit at all time highs (banks now earn more off credit card debt than home loan repayments) and we now judge a prospective partner by their looks ahead of everything else because we obsess far too much over what people will think of us.
We now have television shows where young woman and men attempt to become famous for sweet fuck all. No talent. No ability. Just an urge to be famous for nothing. How did it get to this? Any why do so many people get sucked in? Is it because they want to be like those they see on the idiot box? Take the new season of Channel Ten’s reality show, The Bachelor. In 2017 we have woman trying to outdo one another by wearing less and less and sabotaging any remaining shreds of intelligence they may have possessed because The Bachelor is a vehicle for fame. Even if it only lasts a short while. Worse still, are the docile men who actually think the plethora of woman they are courting actually want a long lasting relationship with them. So where did it go wrong again?
I’ve got news for you. Things started going wrong for many of us when we started thinking too much about what other people thought of us. People today are always looking for acceptance. A recent study in the U.K found that almost half of the population feel depressed when their social media posts fail to garner the expected number of likes they were initially hoping for. Why give a fuck about how many people like your mirror selfie? It doesn’t matter what other people think. What matters is who you are as a person.
My flat mate holds the firm opinion that I enjoy stirring the pot on social media because I get kicks out of it. I’ll never be able to convince her otherwise because that is how she feels and, whilst she could not be further from the truth, I respect her beliefs 100%. In reality, I like to encourage people to think outside the square. I enjoy seeing people look at things other than the perspective they are fed through the mainstream media. Most of all, I enjoy seeing people think for themselves and not going with the mob mentality opinions because the mob is more often than not, way off the mark. Of course, I could post photos of my coffee (difficult because I don’t actually drink the stuff), cat videos or selfies in the mirror at the gym (I have never had a gym body) but that’s not me. So please, stop judging your success by the number of “likes” on social media. Judge yourself by your ability to step outside the square to be yourself and nobody else. It’s the only way to be!