Today, I read a blog post about a website that calls people out for letting small children ride in strollers. The posters say that the children are too big to be riding instead of walking. They take photos without the parents’ permission and without any knowledge of the child’s or the parent’s physical condition or regular daily activities. This website is not just invading peoples’ privacy, it’s making assumptions and casting accusations at people for entertainment.
This new site is the latest in a long list of websites and blogs that seem to be in the business of making fun of other people. Magazines like Cosmopolitan do it, too. For that matter, a lot of the reality shows on television are all about belittling people and laughing at them. Society today is, I think, far more hurtful and negative than it was when I was growing up.
People wonder why we’re seeing more kids killing themselves because of bullying. Sure, there’s always been a certain amount of children picking on other children, but today, I think it’s increased because kids and teens are exposed constantly to ridicule and cruelty being treated as entertainment.
The same reality shows could be done with the air of competition and one-upmanship being replaced by encouragement and inspiration. Players and judges could lift people up instead of putting them down. Unfortunately, the young people (and by that I mean the 20- and 30-somethings that are running the networks) would just see that positive energy as being cheesy and boring. No one (or at least, very few people) want to be role models today because they see that as “square” or whatever the kids are saying today to mean uncool.
As long as people watch, laugh at, celebrate and throw money at mean-spiritedness, the more we will see of it, and that just trains the next generation to find success in negativity.