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‘OFFENCEomania’- The New Epidemic in Town

Taking offence has now become the new ‘normal.’ People across the globe are now taking offence at the drop of a hat. It’s spreading like a fatal disease and is gradually becoming an epidemic. What is wrong with all of us ? Were we always like this but expressing offence right now (all thanks to a hundred outlets on the web) or do the times we live in are bad times ? My answer will be BOTH.

The human race has always been sensitive. Sometimes for its own good, sometimes for the better of others and sometimes (sadly) for the worse.  People were offended then and people are being offended now. The only difference is that in ancient times word of mouth was the only way to express oneself. Today a lot of us have our own unique spot in cyberspace. More outlets , more voices – some are genuine voices and the majority are just misinformed beings. Anonymous people with loud offended voices.

I see people going cuckoo on the internet for quite some time now. Social media has given us a platform to voice out our opinions and that is a good thing. But it has also created  a whole army of completely misinformed and mislead loons. When a certain topic trends on Twitter or on Facebook , i see a thousand faces venting out their voice under those hashtags. Now it would have been a good thing had those people actually been informed . I mean sure have a voice and express your ‘informed’ opinion but make sure it counts into something productive. Else, no point at all. Sadly they’re not informed. They’re misguided. It’s more of a ‘booking my spot under the hashtag’ kind of a thing.

Expressing yourself on issues that won’t even affect you or commenting about people you won’t even meet is irrelevant. I mean there are a thousand better thing to do. As for people who’re a part of your daily life and issues that concern you, here’s an advice – You don’t like things around you – try changing them by taking an initiative that’ll help people. Else, just change yourself. No amount of abuse and moral filth via your tweets or Facebook statues is going to be of any good, neither to yourself nor to others. You don’t like something that somebody did or said – either bring about a change or  ignore it.

Now let’s come to the second question i raised before – Are we living in bad times ? I’d say there could have not been a better time to live. We’re a damn lucky generation for we have seen the world changing , progressing and transforming. The luxuries of yesterday are the necessities of today and we have them all. We have witnessed the IT revolution and have seen a massive revolution take on the world in the last ten- fifteen years. The only thing missing  (and sadly so) is our attitude to discriminate people other than our own . In short people who are ‘different’ from us. Every time a person has a ‘different’ point of view on matters relating to religion, politics, and gender (Trust me people get offended by these subjects all the time), the majority seem to gang up on the ‘different’ individual.

In India, we’re currently divided on the ‘Tolerance Debate.’ Some of us feel that we’re becoming more intolerant while others feel we’re still quite a tolerant nation. It’s okay to be on either side of the debate as long as we have our valid reasons. It’s also okay to disagree. But to impose our point of view on others is not being tolerant. Tolerance does not teach us to agree to everything others have to say. It teaches us to allow people different from ourselves to have their space to voice their point of view. That’s all.

One very important thing that needs to realized is that more than 50% of the world still does not have access to the internet so let’s just think beyond social media on relevant issues. Not every voice that takes offence is relevant. Don’t let the trolls bother you. The world will not remember them hundred years from now. They’ll be mocked. Actually they’re mocked even today. People who’ll contribute towards humanity will be remembered. Be a part of the contributors and not the ones who hold the human race back. Had bright men and women from the previous generations allowed the trolls (they were always there, now they’re just loud and abusive on the internet) to distract them , the world would still be sitting in the dark ages.

Have a voice and contribute to people who need to be uplifted. Have a voice for your own self and learn to stand up for yourself. Have a voice against the fear and the hate that the world tries to instill in us. Don’t bother at what others have to say because you really don’t need to shout out loud at every little thing that happens around and is of little importance. Don’t be a part of the rat race because even if you win it , you’ll still be a rat . Did that offend you ?

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47 Comments

  1. Ashish Rajta

    Thats true… the majority are just misinformed beings.

    • Great blog! We have political correctness gone way too far. The idea is solid- respect others and don’t say something deliberately offensive. Word here is deliberate. People do get butt hurt now over nothing, example: “War on Christmas.” Really? Christians need to get a grip. Sharing the holiday with everyone else won’t kill you. Want it to be spiritual, then do something in your own home. Like donate to charity or help someone who needs it.
      Sorry- mini rant.

      I’m not sure I agree with this being the best time. I grew up in the late 70s and early 80s. Unlike today’s kids, I could go outside and play without being attached to my parents by a rope. My school wasn’t stuck in the test, test, test or lose funding. We had other things than STEM as well. We also had STEM topics.
      I actually pity today’s kids. They’re growing up in a country and world of and country of fear.

      • Yeah we are. But maybe that is why we live out a life unimagined by others. I believe that, cause that way there is still hope. Otherwise I realize everything is futile

  2. Very good post too bad more people do not understand what tolerance really means

  3. Had news media stayed away from social platforms, the situation would have been different. I mean, since when statements on twitter/ posts on facebook became news? It is the news media amplifying the voices shared on social platforms. I would not wonder if one day they announce these social platforms as national tools to be used to run the nation, after all it’s easy to type any shit and reach to millions of people rather than facing them in real and convince your point.

    • People have to learn to use social platforms responsibly and use them as tools for productive work. As for offence, it exists everywhere. Sad.

  4. Divya

    I totally agree. Misinformation is the main reason for the chaos. People want to be a part of the debate even when they have no idea what it’s about and this trend is dangerous.

    Great piece but I am wondering how many people you offended by this post.

  5. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Akriti with some good points about how easily we become offended now about usually something and nothing.. we should be getting offended about some of the real issues around us.. poverty, child abuse, animal cruelty and other insults against humanity.. good piece to read.

    • Yes. Lots of things to care about ad yet we remain stuck up with things that should not matter. Thanks for reblogging 🙂

  6. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Great post by Akriti 😀

  7. Reblogged this on Daily Echo and commented:
    Tolerance does not teach us to agree to everything others have to say. It teaches us to allow people different from ourselves to have their space to voice their point of view.

  8. Maybe if we go back to “taking umbrage” it would produce a better quality of self-righteousness? I think our world has sunk — at least for the moment — into a quagmire of pettiness. Too many opinion. Far too many facts.

  9. It’s interesting to note that folks are often/mostly offended by behaviors/ attitudes that reflect something that they see and dislike in themselves. Great article. Keep it real. Thanks.

  10. Whether a religion is a belief in a God, gods, a tree or atheism, the fervent believers are the worst of the lot for picking and choosing a truth.

    I receive Facebook messages from people running the gamut between extremely liberal and extremely conservative. There are a few posts that are “feel good” for the believer but obviously false information and then there are the trivial posts (like the Starbucks red cup ridiculousness or too many curse words) that I have to hide or I’d be inundated with stuff that doesn’t matter.

    You don’t unfriend someone because they have differing political beliefs. You answer the non-political posts and understand that diversity doesn’t just come in colors.

    If you ever want to LOL at an offended person, try telling this joke to a man from the USA:

    Two blonde guys decided to go hunting. They were deep in the woods when they came upon some tracks.

    One of them said, “These are deer tracks.”
    The other one said, “No, no, no, those are dog tracks!”

    They were still arguing when the train hit them.

    What you will get, more often than not, is an offended man who will tell you that blonde jokes are supposed to be about women. It’s funny as heck to ask them, “If you’re offended by it, what makes you think that women aren’t either. 🙂

  11. Thank you for this. I was astounded to read that some of the students who want “safe spaces” from ‘microagressions” on the various US college campuses also want to abolish the first amendment. What happened to open and honest discourse, the exchange of ideas, the acceptance that not all people will think like you? Who are these people?

  12. Great post! I agree with you. I see so many people especially on social media networks, like twitter getting easily offended by opinions and it looks as if people are looking for reasons to be offended.

  13. I posted photos of a yellow boat at a marina and someone was offended by the colour. Did I argue with that dude? No. I simply did not respond. I mean this person is probably physically and mentally healthy. An attitude like that does not get treated with medication; rather, it is held up as the standard: Freedom of speech.

  14. Sorry… I know I am late !! Got a lil busy in between to read this with the “whole of my mind”

    & – “‘booking my spot under the hashtag’ kind of a thing –
    Loved it 🙂

    I believe that social media is doing a tremendous job in “knowledge sharing” and in the past years it has been an effective platform for communication; emergencies & to showcase our “perception” of facts ..
    But what people fail to understand is that; just because you know how to type a “140 char tweet” or a Facebook status; does not mean; you could boast about any unethical foolishness that crosses your grey matter.

    Your tweets & statuses should be a responsible just like the words you utter 🙂

    Thanks for this post 🙂
    Sharing it right away !!

    People have to read this 🙂

  15. You should watch Daniel Fernandes’ stand up comedy on YouTube. He is too good!

  16. Such a powerful post full of so much truth. There are so many real things to be offended by in life but we are distracted by the manufactured things which are simply designed to ‘divide and rule’ us.

  17. In our society many people gets offended so easily “Unknowingly, If a small boy says to his neighbour aunty, that you are a fat lady then she may get offended so easily instead of taking the words of that child in a funny way”. Many people don’t use their sense of judging what is right or wrong at that moment..!! If by mistake a young person comments that you look ugly (please don’t mind) in your twitter profile pic, then it clearly shows that such people don’t have any productive works in their life rather they are just wasting their time uselessly..Its better to block them..!! Recently, many topics had been raised regarding intolerance, Syrian refugees. People are commenting by hashtags and the leaders of the Nations are getting to know that their people are not innocent if they do anything wrong with their work then we can remove them through leadership. So, using social medias for a good cause can be more productive rather than getting offended by the comments or arts of some useless person..
    I liked your writing and your views.. 🙂

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