It will come as no surprise that the current London riots (loots by thugs, really) have triggered many to write. About it, about other things, about life. So here is my two cents… though today’s blog post is probably going to be more of a rambling of everything that is going through my mind right now.
So, to kick things off… here are a few things that I want to say about the riots.
- Follow https://twitter.com/#!/Riotcleanup and help out where possible. London wombles are go!
- Everything is political. There is always a reason for everything (good or evil). The question is what drives these (evil) behaviours and how to stem it. If all the negative energy in the world can be channeled into something more useful, we would have probably found a cure for cancer by now.
- Everyone has an opinion. We watched Morgan Spurlock’s TED presentation recently and he told us what his father used to say to him (when he told a lie), “son, there is your story, my story and the REAL story”. So true in every situation. Since we are just human, I doubt that we will ever get to find out what the REAL story is, ever. So, best not to point fingers and just look at positive ways to move on.
- There is a lot of good in humanity. Most people want to live in peace and harmony. We are just risk averse, so when the riots happen, we will not go out and fight these looters/thugs. Instead, we can channel our energy to helping clean up and sort the problem out.
- Violence and aggression is unfortunately a large part of being human. There is always something (bad) going on in the world. How else do newspapers and news sites survive? Thankfully, love is an even larger part of being human. Unfortunately, it always takes something bad to happen before we see the good.
Anyone could have told anyone that social networking and social networking technologies are powerful tools. We are a generation who has developed a new toy, a new way of communicating and we are doing what humans do with everything; testing its limits. So what if the riots were being organised by youths on their Blackberries? There are so many more good things that have happened through social networks; through Twitter, through Facebook. It has been able to bring together communities from all over the world in more good ways than bad. The recent Japan earthquake is only but a small example.
What is happening though is that the youths today are looking at the world ONLY through social networking (even their face-to-face activities with their friends reflect social network behaviours) and do not actually understand or know proper social protocols or how to behave. One obvious example is spamming. I have seen someone recruit over 500 followers on Twitter just by being a Belieber – a Justin Bieber fan. This fan network seem to automatically latch onto each other and just continuously spew out information about Justin Bieber and how they love him. Also, when some fans continuously message him on Twitter (example tweet: I love you @justinbieber. It would make my day if you follow me!), say once a day for a few weeks, Justin Bieber (or the twitbot behind it) follows them back.
If youths today are getting what they want (like celebrities following them back on Twitter) just by being persistently annoying, doesn’t it make you wonder how they would behave in life? It is the same as a child telling its parents, “Mummy, I want that toy, Daddy, I want that toy” and continuously repeating it until they actually get it. Most of us learn from a young age that you don’t get everything you ask for and that the more you are annoying about it, the less likely you will get it. Some of us even learn in these situations to justify why we should get the toy. You research into your audiences’ priorities and interests and work your pitch appropriately. Example, “Mummy, Daddy, I want that toy because it looks like a lot of fun and all the kids in school have it. I promise that I will only play with it after I have finished my homework each day.”
*Kids, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org about consultation rates. :)
Perhaps the social network sites should get together to put together a concise ‘social protocol’ for Generation Y (or is it Z)? This could even help sort out other social network issues like undercover pedophiles, identity thieves and spammers. Think about it.
People are generally getting more bored more easily, what with the availability of information at our fingertips and the choice of whether we want to find out more or not. Knowledge has lost its value, somewhat. Support structures in many countries today allow many to choose to not work, as if it is their birth right to claim government support to live and to have healthcare. It is like a blown up version of a pampered child. My parents brought us up giving us everything that they didn’t have when they were growing up. They ensured that we had a good education but at the same time, they pampered us with good food and a comfortable living as far as they can afford. Thankfully, they had also taught us about suffering and about how they had to work hard to give us all those things.
Learning about suffering is not quite the same as suffering yourself. I remember that the first year I lived away from home (at university when I was 18), I realised for the first time in my life what it was like to be really hungry. It was not due to a lack of funds, but rather because I was too lazy to prepare my own food (and before you judge, it was probably because we had a late night and was completely hung-overed). It was then that I realised how pampered I was at home, under the protection of my parents, within confinement of four walls (in a large house) and a never-ending supply of yummy food. It also made me realise that if I were to survive in the ‘real world’, I needed to learn many new skills and fast.
People living comfortably in these countries that have always given them free healthcare and financial support (when needed) all their lives need to learn about life without these perks. They also need to learn the skills needed in order to live without these perks. It is not easy, but because people are not aware that they are lacking the skills, they just complaint when the government threatens to remove this support system, because it makes them scared. I do not think that having these supports or not having them is the better option. I don’t have an opinion on this either way. However, I do know that we should always be grateful and count the blessings that we have, EVEN if it means complimenting the government from time to time. Yes, fight for better things and push them to develop our World into an even better place, but do not ever forget that it IS already much better than it was.
People seem to be happier in the past with less things. I think it is because they knew how to appreciate what there is in life.
Be equally complimentary and critical about all things.
Call a spade a spade but do not insult it.