Story By Caitlin Paroczai
From a very young age, most of us are taught basic social etiquette. Whether this took the form of parental guidance, or the signs plastered across the walls in primary school to remind you that sharing is caring, we are taught to be nice. The importance of being nice should never be underestimated. It provides us with the proper foundation to maintain healthy relationships and reminds us to treat others the way that we would like to be treated.
So why is it so damn hard to be a nice human in today’s society?
On a weekly basis, I experience someone saying or doing something to another person which is just NOT what the poster in primary school advocated for.
How difficult is it to wait patiently for the learner driver to start doing the speed limit? Is the world really going to spontaneously combust if the waitress takes your partner’s plate away while you are still eating? There are so many instances I could think of where both parties would have benefitted from one of them showing some kindness.
Why Are People So… Ugh?
I am no Psychologist, but the first answer that springs to my mind here is social media. Perhaps people aren’t any less kind than they were 50 years ago, but social media has provided the perfect platform for people to broadcast their utter rudeness. Nowadays, many people seem to be under the impression that it is perfectly okay for them to make cruel comments on a person’s Facebook post.
Over the past few days, I have been absolutely gobsmacked by some of the comments I have seen on Facebook, including:
“You need to get a life”
“Who is this fat sh***”
“Oh please, she isn’t anything special”
Like… WHO HAS TIME TO WRITE THIS? And these are pretty tame in comparison to some!
It just seems like the entire premise of if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it, has jumped out of the window and flown to Jupiter.
Social media platforms also encourage us to be insanely critical of one another. Considering the lines between social media and real life are seemingly blurred now, perhaps these critical attitudes translate into real life more than they used to.
But How Do We Fix It?
While exploring the why behind it all is interesting, it will not fix the problem. How do we encourage people to be nice in a world where technology makes it so easy for people to be unkind?
There is definitely no overnight solution, but maybe think about it this way…
The next time you share or like a post about self-love, motivation or kindness, ask yourself whether you are truly living out those messages. Are you being patient towards others? Are you going out of your way to practice kindness? If everyone made more of a conscious effort, perhaps we would begin to see change.