The last time I was visiting Utah, I spent some time listening to the radio during my morning commute. I was surprised to listen to how many advertisments and how much programming content was centered around not getting ‘taken’ by scams. It seems like everything I listened to from the Doug Wright show, to Clark Howard, to even the ads between were all centered around people or services being promoted as protection from scams.
Which led me to the conclusion: I think people are unhealthily paranoid about pretty much everything.
Water Fluoridation seems to be the poster child of this. The government wants to put fluoride in the water to promote healthier teeth and bones, but pretty much everyone is sure it’s a communist plot to introduce some government mind control over the citizens. There was outcry when the government decided to chlorinate the water as well. Mass hysteria, skepticism, and paranoia.
A little skepticism and paranoia is good, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes people get so shrill about things and so “pre-judged” that it makes me a little sick. Half the time, they don’t really know what they’re alleging. They are just rejecting a notion that they don’t want to believe.
But isn’t it just better to give scientists and people who know better a little slack?
Look, I know nobody wants to be a fool, and I want to prevent myself from being ‘had’ just as much as the next guy, but I get a little tired of people who parade around like they have it all figured out and how nothing gets by them…
Second example: Reality TV.
I get really sick of people saying, “it’s all fixed from the beginning” or “that was just planned to get ratings.”
Granted, I won’t put it past producers and directors to create a little artificial conflict in order to keep a program interesting. In fact, the whole concept behind the first Reality TV show “The Real World” was to get people with completely different backgrounds, standards, and mindset to live with each other for an extended period of time and watch the whole thing unravel. (We love a good interpersonal conflict!)
But all the fun of reality TV is the unexpected and unscripted nature of it, and you reject the very premise of the fun when you just blindly reduce the whole thing into one little rejection.
Look, I know you want to sound all cognizant and hyper-aware, but no one is handing out brownie points for the people who knew exactly what was going to happen on Big Brother 15 before it even happened, and no one thinks your any smarter when you blab out your snap-judgments on everyone and everything you see.