Every era has its own odd trends and quirky customs. Yet, while one is in the midst of their own culture it's nearly impossible to discern which social norms are productive and which ones are utterly nonsensical and quite frankly disturbing.

Considering that our generation really takes the cake for engaging in self-defeating, embarrassing, and just plain rude behaviors, it's important to reflect on the conventions we subscribe to and question whether or not they serve both ourselves and the greater good.

Here are 20 things that our society seemingly accepts that we really shouldn't.

The "Phone Zone."

via: Meme Generator

Literally, everyone is on their phones at all times and in all places. Listen, I'm guilty too. But when we find ourselves sitting across from real people yet looking down and aimlessly scrolling, it's time we ask ourselves exactly why we need a barrier between ourselves and reality. Don't freak out; no one is taking away your phone. But can we at least attempt to practice a small amount of awareness when it comes to appropriate phone zoning? Watching TV at home, zone away. Bored on your break, scroll like there's no tomorrow. But as a rule of thumb, if there is a human talking to you, exit the phone zone and engage with reality for a brief moment.

Touching a pregnant woman's belly.

via: Shutterstock

Why, oh why is this still a common practice amongst strangers? Just because we've decided to share our bodies with our babies does not mean we are looking to share our bodies with all of mankind. Pregnancy is not an open invite party. It's a highly exclusive and intimate experience. So if you don't know me, don't touch me... or my baby. P.S. This advice applies to after our babies are born as well. I once had an old man in an elevator kiss my newborn baby on the cheek while he was in his stroller. I am still cringing four years later. Unless you've been formally invited... Don't touch our bellies. Don't touch our babies. Thanks.

Social media oversharing.

Whether it's a dramatic post about a bad breakup or a pic of a baby's naked butt, we've seen it all on Facebook. I once deleted an acquaintance after he posted a pic of his pet pig's poop. There is just absolutely no explanation for some of the things people overshare on social media. While some people fake the funk on Facebook, oversharers keep it way too real. If you can't afford therapy, try journaling. Call a friend when you feel the need to describe your lunch.Try just about anything other than what you're currently doing.

The Bystander Effect.

According to Psychology Today, "the bystander effect occurs when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation." Unfortunately, this social norm is nothing new. The infamous murder of 28-year-old Kitty Genovese in 1964 is evidence that the "bystander effect" has been a societal phenomenon for over 50 years. Kitty was attacked and repeatedly stabbed by a man in front of her apartment building in 1984 as a crowd of onlookers watched, did not intervene, nor did they call the police. It's hard to believe that could ever happen, but social psychologists Bibb Latané and John Darley attribute this baffling behavior to a "perceived diffusion of responsibility." In other words, the more people there are around, the less likely people are to step in and help. Nowadays, bystanders are filming cars accidents and people being attacked instead of calling the police or intervening. In recent years, the passengers of a fully-booked United Airlines flight filmed a man violently being dragged off the plane and while they had a lot to say about it on social media, they didn't say a word when it counted. This strange and sad social trend is a big bummer. If you see something, say something, dammit.

Spitting in public.

Why do men do this? Perhaps they produce more saliva than women because I've never seen a woman shamelessly hock a giant loogie on the pavement just a few feet away from me. Eew. Just eew.

Internet mob mentality.

While the bystander effect prevents people from acting appropriately, the internet's mob mentality seems to provoke people to act inappropriately. Let's face it, the anonymity of the internet makes social media a playground that's designed for bullies. Social media has provided people with a platform on which they can say anything, to anyone, without any consequences. While some people online totally have it coming, there are many people who truly don't deserve the extreme backlash they receive for potentially honest mistakes. It's time for trolls to put down the torch and back away from the keyboard.

Waiting at the doctor's office.

So why exactly is it that a trip to the doctor's office automatically includes a mandatory waiting period. They make patients wait in the waiting room just long enough to have their blood boiling and then shuffle them into a different room only to wait more, and more, and a little bit more. There's really no explanation as to why waiting at the doctor's office is the norm in our society and in general people pretty much accept this aspect of healthcare. But for crying out loud, if you're going to make people wait for an entire afternoon, you better have free wifi.


In today's world, moms can't seem to do anything right, and unfortunately, they can be their own worst enemies. Moms are hard enough on themselves already, but no one is harder on moms than other moms. Basically, if you're doing it differently than they did, you're doing it wrong. Don't co-sleep but don't do "cry it out," either. Just never sleep, ever. Don't you dare bottlefeed but also don't breastfeed in public. Just never go anywhere, ever. Don't be sexy but don't be frumpy, either. Don't work- you're selfish, but don't stay at home- you're lazy AF. Don't have a C-Section but don't even think about getting an epidural. It never ends. But it needs to. Let's put the stones down, stop judging, and actually start supporting one another.

Texting while driving.

Nearly any time you're driving, you're bound to encounter someone whose texting behind wheel. You know they're texting because they are swerving in and out of their lane and almost ending your life. Despite many deaths and the passing of stricter laws, texting while driving remains a common practice. It's ridiculous, it's annoying, but most of all, it's fricken dangerous.

Not picking up after your pet.

I've lived in my fair share of apartment buildings but I have yet to live anywhere that didn't require the daily dodging of dog poop. I have literally chased a girl down my street after she let her dog defecate on my doorstep. Literally, on my doorstep. On another occasion, a woman told me that I shouldn't care because the grass by the street isn't technically my property. Well, in that case,  by all means! Nevermind that I have to walk a mine-field of crap several times a day. Who cares if my kids step in it. It's just dog shit. It's not technically my property! I beg of you, cut the crap. Let's all do our part. If you have time to grab a leash, you have time to grab a baggie.

Polar partisanship.

It doesn't seem to matter which side of the debate people are on these days, they are sure to make their opinions known to others and usually not in the most subtle way. The political division in this country is monumental. It's important to fight for what you believe in as an American, but it's also just plain stupid to think you're going to change a damn thing with a political post or comment on social media. If you want to change the world, vote, rally, volunteer, protest and write your representatives. But if you merely need a little drama in your life without affecting any real positive change, keep posting political rants and passive aggressive comments on social media.

Comparing owning a pet to raising a child.

Look, I get it. I've had dogs my whole life. I've loved them fiercely their whole lives and I've held them tightly in their last moments. But the truth is until I had kids, I had no clue that, while owning a pet is a profound part of life, it is NOTHING like parenting a child. As people have fewer kids and adopt more pets, society has begun to juxtapose parenting and pet-rearing on social media and the result is some pretty annoyed parents. We know you love your pets, but until you've stayed up every night for three weeks straight rocking, feeding, swaddling, changing, and comforting your pet, don't call it parenting.

Not returning shopping carts to their proper locations.

Is it really that daunting a task? Are you so fatigued and famished from perusing the aisles of Target to travel the distance and return your shopping cart? Life is rough, no doubt. You're in a rush, you're tired, your kids are screaming, we get it. But none of these things give you permission to be an asshole. When it comes to being a productive member of society, you don't even have to go the extra mile; common decency is only 1o feet away.

Perfect (and fake) social media lives.

We all have that one friend that just LOVES their life. They're so happy and healthy that it's almost hard to believe. It's also hard to believe because you know that that they're a miserable hot mess in real life. When it comes to fronting on Facebook or Instagram, you're not fooling anyone. In fact, the happier you are on social media, the more effed up people know your life is in reality. It's time to stop flaunting your fake yet flawless life on social media... Methinks thou dost protest too much.

Over the top kids' birthday parties.

Dear Lord, why is being a millennial mom such a pain in the ass. Why do moms insist on making life harder than it already is by throwing elaborate birthday parties for kids who will NEVER remember them? We know it's a special day, but it's not the Oscars. It's time to put down the tuna tartare and bbq some hot dogs. Little part planning tip for ya... If you have to file for bankruptcy after your kid's birthday party, you might have overdone it.

Abuse of customer service workers.

We've all copped an attitude from time to time when dealing with a customer service representative, server, or retail worker. And while sometimes it's warranted, most times it's really not necessary.We tend to get this inflated sense of superiority anytime we're dealing with someone who's on the clock. Subconsciously we know that we hold the upper hand so we capitalize on the opportunity to take out our frustrations on people who aren't in a position to actually defend themselves. Instead of treating people like crap just cause you can, try taking out your everyday frustrations with a kickboxing class because this tacky societal norm is not serving anyone.

Greek life hazing.

We're all for the camaraderie of "Greek life,"  but the extreme hazing practices are bordering on barbaric.  In an interview with The Economist, Journalism Professor Hank Nuwer shared some startling statistics.
More than 200 university students have died from hazing-related accidents in the United States since 1838—40 in the past decade alone.
While some "pledges" die from falling or drowning, most die from alcohol poisoning. It's hard to believe that in this day and age such a volatile culture can continue under the supposed supervision of colleges and universities across the country. While films and television often make light of hazing, in reality, this socially accepted tradition is no laughing matter.

Using offensive slang to describe people.

Oh really, was it so "gay" when you're co-worker wore than Hawaiian shirt on Friday? How about that one time he said something totally "retarded" at the company party? Good times... except, not so much. In this day and age, "gay" does not mean lame. "Retarded" is a term that was once used to describe people with disabilities but has since been deemed officially offensive and is finally out of the rotation once and for all. So when you're at Toys-R-Us on your phone telling your friend what a retard they are, that lady standing next to you might have a child that was just diagnosed with autism. You may mean no offense, but trust me, it stings. I know. It's time to delete the outdated and derogatory slang from our vocab and get some new material.

Disregarding elevator etiquette.

Grrrrrr. Did no one else's mom tell them to step aside and wait while the people on the elevator get off? I guess not because every single time I try to exit an elevator I feel like Zimba confronting a stampede in the gorge. It takes the same amount of time to bump into someone and then walk around them as it does to simply wait for them to walk out. Not to mention, it's rude AF. Move out of the way and count to 15, after that you're free to hurry up and wait again.

Forcing small talk.

Modern society is seriously uncomfortable with silence. We feel the need to fill every moment with conversation or else it's considered awkward. But it's not. Small talk is awkward. It's great to ask people how they're doing but we shouldn't feel the need to force conversation when it's not authentic. Tell me about your cat's half-birthday party gift bags another time. In the meantime, let's just quietly coexist. Bring silence back. It's fricken golden.