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 GeneratorLiterally, 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: ShutterstockWhy, 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.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.
Mom-shaming.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.
Not returning shopping carts to their proper locations.
Perfect (and fake) social media lives.
Over the top kids' birthday parties.
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.
Leaked photos and disturbing video show absolutely horrific hazing by Hofstra fraternity https://t.co/NQTc31MksG https://t.co/DL6gV0v0gp— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan)1481650444.0
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.