Desensitized Society

In the past 60 years, our society has become unmannerly and desensitized to behaviors we think of as normal.

Sammi Tester, Editor of Student Opinion

Cursing in every other sentence, seeing sexualized jokes and people on T.V., and wearing clothes that leave nothing to the imagination are all regular behaviors in today’s society. However, these social norms are desensitizing our generation and the upcoming generations. Flashback to the 1950s, those all would have been scandalous and thought of as trashy.

Having manners seems to be obsolete in our culture. Today, it’s become almost rude to hold a door for someone, because some people are portraying it as demeaning. Holding doors is not something you do because the other person can’t do it themselves, but because it’s polite and you are putting their needs before yours. It has also become odd to hear the “magic words” we were taught as a kid. Saying “please” and “thank you” show that you appreciate what another person will do or has done for you. The Washington Post says that more than 50 percent of people don’t say thank you and that saying “thank you” during an interview can boost your possibility of being hired for the job. Another kind, mannerly thing we seem to have thrown out the window is referring to strangers and higher figures as “Miss,” “Mrs,” “Sir,” or “Mister.” I very rarely hear my peers use any of those four titles on anyone other than teachers, but it used to be the appropriate thing to do.

Cursing is unmannerly and quite rude, but we still do it anyway. According to Time, seven-tenths of the words, the average person says are swear words. Cussing also rubs off on children. Time says that most children know a swear word by the age of two. If we flash back to the 1950s again, it was rare to hear anyone using swear words in public. In some recent commercials, actors say things that are played off of cussing. For example, the Kmart commercial from 2013 with the line “I just shipped my pants” to advertise Kmart’s free shipping. However, it’s not only cursing that T.V. writers have done to desensitize our society.

T.V. commercials and shows are very sexualized nowadays. Some commercials use attractive models wearing very little clothes to sell unattractive things, like hamburgers or other food. Many, if not all, of us know about Miley Cyrus’ fashion sense and music videos that reveal much of her body to the public. On Apr. 3, 1956, Elvis appeared on “The Milton Berle Show” and sparked controversy about his now infamous hips. In just 59 years, we have gone from scandal from moving your hips to scandal about being naked in a music video. Let that sink in.

If our society keeps heading in the same direction, just imagine what kind of people will be around in 50 years. However, if we start to become aware of the issues of being disrespectful and discourteous to others, we can become nicer. If we become aware of what we are showing today’s youth, we can become more sensitive. If we become aware of how it was about 60 years ago, we will realize that we, as a community, have become rude, desensitized, and aggressive people. We don’t have to become exactly like the people in the 1950s, per say, but if we change just a little, we can raise a generation of hope.