Sep 15, 2009 life
Over the past week, we’ve had several instances of bad behavior in a public forum. Senator Joe Wilson screaming “You Lie!” during Obama’s speech. Serena Williams screaming foul language and threats at a tennis official during a game. Kanye West deliberately stealing the spotlight from Taylor Swift during her VMA acceptance speech.
People round the world have commented for days about each one and how unbelievable it is that these things happened. But are we really shocked? Really? I mean, I agree that each instance showed complete disrespect to the person on the receiving end, but their behavior is hardly shocking when you look at how we as a society have leaned towards rewarding this kind of rudeness and narcissistic behavior in the past few years.
The Realistic Impact of Reality Shows
Look at the current wave of popular “reality” TV shows – how many of them show people engaging in acts of what is generally thought of as “bad behavior” in public? Yet, people watch them rabidly and talk about them constantly. People like Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are huge celebrities and earn tons of money. For what? What do they contribute to society? Why are they famous? Because they exhibit bad behavior and they not only get away with it, but are rewarded for it with photographers following their every move and nightclubs paying them literally thousands of dollars to make an appearance for a few hours.
And this is the message we’re sending out by watching and supporting these shows. Be rude and disrespectful and you, too, can become rich and famous. Can’t sing or dance or act? No problem, just go on TV and tell the world it’s all about you, and you, too can earn a lot of money and get on the cover of every tabloid.
But because nobody gets called on this kind of behavior, and in fact gets rewarded for it, the message sent out is a loud one that’s hard to ignore — especially by kids and young adults who are trying to figure out their roles in society and what they want out of life.
Why work hard for what you want when you can just go on TV and be a bitch or a jackass to everyone to get what you want? The world really does revolve around YOU and only YOU, doesn’t it?
Maybe we all need a refresher course in what I like to refer to as the three R’s of human interaction: