Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How Is Social Media Changing Our Society?

This is a follow up on my post from Monday in which a West Michigan man sang to a class of elementary students, video taped the event, and later dubbed in sexually suggestive lyrics. The question Monday was whether he should be charged with a crime.

I received some great comments from readers and they got me thinking.

The question is; how is social media changing our society and culture?

There is some thought that this man saw this as a prank and did not mean to sexually objectify the children. I wonder if this theory isn't worth examining. This is not to make an excuse for him. In fact, I find the notion that this could be true to be quite concerning.

Are we creating a society in which anything goes for a laugh or a good time?

I attended a trauma prevention conference as part of my job and one of the speakers spoke on websites that exist for people (mostly men and mostly late teens to early twenties) who do stupid things for kicks. One segment was on the practice of spraying aerosol body spray on the crotch of your pants and setting it on fire. Obviously you can see how this worked out for the kid. The problem is there is a whole underground culture of kids out there who do this very thing and other stupid acts.

I realize that we did dumb things when we were kids and many of us are likely lucky to have survived our teen years. Kids and young adults have probably been doing dangerous stunts since some idiot Neanderthal realized he could stand on a stone wheel and balance himself to impress the young ladies.

I wonder though if the availability of a world wide audience, the anonymity of the internet, and literally thousands of other people to give suggestions on what to do and how to do it is exacerbating the problem.

I wonder if we are blurring the lines between right and wrong, safe and unsafe, rational and irrational?

As I said earlier, we have always had idiots roaming the Earth. In the past they were generally isolated and could not share notes. We are now providing them a communication tool to push the limits of the extreme. Is this a good thing?

I have always given considerable credence to the theory that once an aberration becomes the new norm we then must develop new, and worse, aberrations.

Take homosexuality as a simple example. I don't have a real issue with it, I don't agree with it and think it is wrong, but I take a "leave me alone and I will leave you alone" approach to it. At one time homosexuality was actually considered deviant behavior, now it is essentially socially acceptable.

Now that we have accepted the behavior of homosexuality as the norm, the conversation is slowly turning to man-boy love. Obviously almost all of society is against the practice and it is considered deviant behavior. There are those though who argue in favor of legalizing the practice. Recently we had a national debate because was carrying a how-to guide for man-boy love. They were overwhelmed by protest and were forced to remove it. The reality is though that it was there. A national company felt comfortable selling it. Will I be writing a blog in 30 years that, while I don't agree with man-boy love, each to his own? (The answer is an emphatic "Hell no" btw). Will we instead be appalled at the new underground practice of sex with infants?

Sorry for the nearly pointless and disturbing digression. The point is, is this a new and concerning trend in society? Are we seeing a societal shift in which what we once considered to be in poor taste or even taboo will now be the new norm and there will be a race on to find the next, more thrilling and decadent thing?


Mustang said...

One segment was on the practice of spraying aerosol body spray on the crotch of your pants and setting it on fire. This is precisely why I believe in natural selection. It is entirely natural for this person (and others like him) to die at a young age, and from activities that were just begging for a bad ending.

We have well over 300 million people in this country Chuck. Our republic won’t fold simply because a mere 10% of our population kill themselves by jumping head first onto a bed of nails on a double-dare. I must argue with you about homosexuality, however. Nameless and faceless society may regard homosexuality as “normal,” but the truth is there is nothing normal about it; hence, the word “odd” and the phrase “queer behavior.” I would encourage you to maintain your sense of what is right because popular opinions are not always proper opinions; decadence is decadent.

Personally, I think that most people don’t give a damn about what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes. But I don’t think we should confuse this general apathy for nationwide endorsement of depraved behavior. We may know that degenerate things happen, but we have no justification for convincing ourselves that it is in any way normal human behavior.

Ticker said...

"I wonder if we are blurring the lines between right and wrong, safe and unsafe, rational and irrational?

This is the goal of secular humanist. Once they create a society where there are no consequences for any action ,where
ethical relativism is the norm,ie the belief that no absolute moral code exists, and therefore man must adjust his ethical standards in each situation according to his own judgment.If God does not exist, then He cannot establish an absolute moral code. Humanist Max Hocutt says that human beings "may, and do, make up their own rules... Morality is not discovered; it is made."

And that Chuck is where we are rapidly heading and the social media is playing a huge role in this and is encouraged, financed and praised by the secular humanist.
You commented on waking up one morning to be appalled to find out that there is an underground where the practice of sex with infants. Well be appalled Chuck. It's been around for sometime.

~Leslie said...

I think Mustang makes an important point: how we use language is very important within culture. We realize that the progressive movement has been working diligently to channel language toward their agenda for a very long time. Political correctness is part of this, but so too is how we use words, how we filter meaning, and how word use transforms despicable behavior into generally acceptable conduct.

But we must acknowledge that just because many people are behaving in a certain way does not suggest that it is right, proper, or even socially acceptable. If we are an enlightened society, we can simply call things what they are. Abnormal is abnormal.

Abnormal things do not suddenly become normal because a vague entity called society says so. Despite the extreme pressure to do otherwise, we must not fall prey to the progressives, who seek to destroy our culture.

Speaking of daredevil mentalities, how normal was it when a couple permitted their twelve-year old child to engage in motor cycle racing, resulting in the child’s death in Indianapolis last August. Groups stood up to defend the parents; it was “normal behavior” for parents and children —what’s the big deal? Now how in the world should any reasonably intelligent person think that such behavior among parents is “normal”?

cube said...

Mostly, I see social media changing our society in detrimental ways and it's not by accident. All part of the plan.

As far as this cretin who dubbed the video, he's sick in the head, but doesn't deserve 20 years in prison.

Z said...

Chuck, I often wonder how far down our society can go. Where do you go from TV commercials where an actress says "My agent says career advancement with me would be a sex tape with another woman...which one of you want to be involved?" (I'm paraphrasing but it's for Hot in Cleveland)

And I don't think homosexuality is just considered normal now, and 'who cares?', I think it's considered MORE COOL today than heterosexuality.

Mustang's "this is why I believe in natural selection" made me laugh so hard! But, he's RIGHT! :-) There are kids who choke themselves JUST to the point of death for KICKS!! WHAT??
Where are parents and spending time with your children and giving them confidence and approving their friends, etc etc...that's gone in MANY instances and now we have kids lighting their crotches on fire?

cube...that's "part of a plan?"

Brooke said...

What a crazy post from Monday!

Oh, how depressing. The downward spiral, and all, and it is EASY to get into it working in the ER or hospital in general.

I have to think that for every degenerate, there is a brilliant person out there creating.

Chuck said...

Mustang, I do not endorse homosexuality - I just don't spend a lot of time thinking about it. As far as the natural selection, we had one dude set off a fire cracker in his pants pocket and blow a hole through his testicles. There may be something to Darwinism after all

Ticker, I agree on the media pushing secularism. This is playing right into their hands. As to the bit about infants, I was being facetious. I could tell you a story about a baby we saw in the ER that you would never stop being pissed about.

Leslie, good point on the child with the motocross. That was the parents living through their child

Cube, agreed

Z, dead on about parents spending time with their kids. The video camera that a lot of these kids have is a cheap baby sitter

Brooke, you would hope their is at least one

Alligator said...

As a kid, I and my friends watched the Three Stooges. Although we laughed and joked and mimicked some of their lesser antics, none of us ever did things like jam crowbars up someone's nose, or grab their tongue with pliers or turn a meat grinder into a Gatling gun by feeding bullets through the funnel.

We knew it wasn't real and we knew if you really did those things, someone would get hurt or worse. My parents taught me there were consequences, and I was disciplined when I crossed the line. But it taught me right from wrong and reality from fantasy. Oh, I've done some stupid things, all kids have but some of these 20 and 30 somethings are doing some things that generations ago, they would have grown out of by the time they were 9 or 10.

Part of that is social media and the parents who themselves were affected by social media growing up. Everything I heard at home, in school and in church growing up all reinforced each other. The messages in society were consistent, but then we are talking the 1950s and early 60s.

I noticed things changing around 1968. Some of my friends started going "hippie" and although we had been lifelong friends, now I was dirt to them because I wasn't "cool." People started dragging in lawyers when the schools tried to enforce discipline and dress codes, etc. It didn't happen overnight but things got underway.

I finally got hip and started in with Mr. Natural and took on the trappings of the counter-culture. After a couple of years of that nonsense, I had a close encounter of the spiritual kind and returned to my roots. Some of my friends got out, others continued on and were swallowed into oblivion. The "Peace and Love" movement was hardly that and I really get sick when the media starts waxing nostalgic for Woodstock and Haight-Ashbury kind of crap.

Talk about a confused generation. A lot of the current crop of politicians are the spawn of the Free Love era. It started eroding standards and entertainment media and to a degree news media, helped promote it as normalcy. But to a degree, rebellion against the 'status quo' is in human nature. That's why people will frequently trade in a dictator for a worse one. History is full of them. It's also why people who have more money and more freedom than any civilization on earth are so willing to change it in the name of 'social justice.' The replacement will ensure that everyone is at the same level - the bottom.

I don't know if my rambling has anything to do with the post. If it isn't, I apologize. It's late and I'm tired.

cube said...

Z: Yes, the plan to turn our country into a free zone of socialist/secular humanist relativity where anything goes and no holds are barred except those opposing the movement towards that goal.

I'm not sure when it started, but I first noticed it in the 60's.

Ticker said...

Chuck you can't tell me a lot about this type thing that I haven't seen or heard but I am sure I would be more than a little pissed anyhow. I helped prosecute an individual who belonged to a group of perverts who advocated sex with infants (infants being children under the age of 4) The rest of the group "walked" because of a weak kneed DA who was looking for an easy case. I handed him one and he blew it. The original perp got five years but inmates took care of him within six months. May his soul burn hotter in Hell!

Alligator said...

Ticker, isn't it interesting that even worst of the worst in our prisons inherently know that having sex with children is wrong and do something about it when they get one of those in their midst? Wne a murderer, rapist or armed robber can figure it out, you wonder why "normal" society gets so squishy when trying to deal with pedophilia. Well, I guess I should say "liberal" society.

Chuck said...

Alligator, it made a lot of sense. I blame a lot of our problems today on the war on poverty. This ushered in the entitlement mentality, fatherless children, dumbing down of schools, and destroyed the nuclear family. We never have recovered from this.

Ticker, you do have to love what happens to these meat sacks when they get into prison. I have one story about an 11 month old that I have never (and likely never will) discuss outside of the ER. There are some sick bastards out there.

Alligator, I remember seeing a documentary once about prisoners. They detest crimes against children because they have kids, siblings, etc and they punish the offenders because they have nothing to lose.

Ticker said...

Alligator you are so right. Even the worst criminals have zilch for feelings when it comes down to those who do terrible things to children and they have no mercy either. I called it justice in action. What the courts wouldn't or couldn't do was carried out as it should have been done in the first place with no mercy, just justice. Only God can override justice with mercy.

Chuck I don't know what happened to the lower than sack of crap who did such to an 11 month old but it wasn't enough.

Apache's had a way with such scum and even their method was not enough.