My urge to write is constant. Thoughts that are forever taxing my head are begging to be released to the page.
An unfortunate and pathetic (for a writer and someone who commands language) truth to the stall between my posts is the bewitching question I too often apply to me AND my supposed audience, and it is this:
Such a magical, powerful, sad, influential, and ultimately dissuadingly argumentative two words. Who cares? I hear people say this all the time. I see this in response to social media posts that obviously don’t engage the reader on any level. Who cares?
I ask myself this as I suffer to rectify an infinite number of philosophies and actions in this world. For me, this question is FAR from rhetorical. Answers I seek to satisfy this query are those that could offer any probabilities and possibilities.
Inevitably, I find myself coming back to a confidence fueled by frustration; incited by the infinite and growing apathy of the world. And my answer is: I care. That’s really all that matters. That I am forever viewed as pedantic, erudite, loquacious, verbose, or perspicacious doesn’t bother me in the least.
That’s hoity-toity, smug, uppity, brainy, arrogant, snooty, geeky, and smartypants to all those asking “who cares?”.
My rant today is two-fold. What I see. Why it matters.
Words. Statements. Phrases. Communication. Questions. Opinions. News. Blogs. Grammatical structure. Content. Observations. Voice passivity. Language. Literary appreciation.
It’s all gone to hell in a great many ways I’ve watched throughout my lifetime, and with great rapidity.
First, permit me to provide examples of the crucifixion of our language and way of speaking that I notice every single day.
Media is a joke. To people with even half a brain, it’s insulting. Mainstream news outlets, local stations, random rogue blogs – all of them – shoot out information (true or false, it doesn’t matter) at rapid-fire speed. In the all-out war to be first with the news, first to be seen, noisiest, top, most important – content is neglected. Words are misspelled or written twice, grammatical structure becomes nonexistent, and typos abound.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
It is really quite simple.
Words written incorrectly, printed out of proper context, or even situated in the wrong order can change an entire story from right to wrong or even from bad to good…or worse. An intended audience targeted, a strong point attempted, and a mass attraction are all quickly missed just by a poorly written article. The conveyed messaged is lost under a mound of ignorance.
Such practice not only misinforms and fails miserably to educate, but it sends the very dangerous message reflecting an uneducated and apathetic writer pandering to an already-disinterested audience. That message is that it is ok to wallow in ignorance. It is just fine to dismiss mistakes, even when they’re abundant. It is always acceptable to not hold writers to standards of excellence.
In turn, one has to question what purpose could the media serve other than to control what the readers think and believe.
The “who cares?” crowd will always be the ones most-easily kept within the demonic claw of media hypnotism.
And with the expectation of immediate informational dissemination and journalistic superiority, our ability to speak correctly and efficiently communicate through digital and direct means has been murdered. Machines – computers, cell phones, tablets, televisions – and apathy have minimized and devalued physical in-person interactions and human social connection.
Technology has eliminated people’s capacity to spell words; to grasp meaningful content and – most importantly – to develop critical thought expressed through creative writing and speaking.
In short, writers’ and journalists’ posts are LAZY, misguided, and just plain confusing. Multiple times daily I throw fits about where we as a collective race are going in this hand basket, after having painstakingly endured typo after typo and improper use of language in what the media is belching out to the sheeple masses.
But who cares, right?
HERE IS WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Human intellect is directly correlated with thought, behavior, and speech. An intelligent person viewing the world and all of its contents on a higher plane will think, behave, and speak well. Very well. It is the structure, the fiber of what defines them; how others perceive them and what they contribute to the world around them.
Education, experiences, and willfulness of each individual lend to the treatment of others. Those continually exposed to obscene language, images, and behavior will act crudely toward others. They will speak in slang, curse, defile; and possibly be prone to violence. They will hate.
It is the very definition and description of the old adage, “Garbage in, garbage out”.
Those who have no higher expectation or inclination to speak and think decently will have little care for how they are treated and for how they treat others.
Hate speech – read and heard – will incite hateful behavior. Calm, rational speech will promote thinking, harmony, understanding, and pursuit of knowledge.
Therefore, it is only reasonable to believe that the dumbing down, cruelty, and finger-pointing of society can be directly placed upon media’s shoulders. Though they are not solely to blame, they are directly responsible.
News and social media are the most powerful influences on the planet. Their images and links are forever in the forefront, spewing details of every subject to billions of readers.
Political correctness used rampantly and necessarily in media content has deformed, buried, and bastardized thought and speech. Fear of offending anyone has turned perfectly innocent words and thoughts into that which is considered offensive or inciting. In doing so, true meaning and intent behind words and critical thinking have been diluted and frequently punished.
Customarily opposed to tagging people in the society-determined “boomer” and/or “millennial” silos, there is still no denying that it is overwhelmingly younger individuals – those aged 20-32, give or take – who dominate journalist and writing roles.
This is a significant fact to take into consideration. The gold-star, self-appreciating, why-do-I-care, gimme-everything group aforementioned are those least likely to put any thought or effort into their writing or speaking because:
- They’ve been programmed, brainwashed into asserting and believing that everything they do is perfect, and should be without question or challenge. Mommy told me so; I couldn’t possibly do anything wrong.
- They’ve had little or no exposure to culture or creativity. Ask any individual between the ages of 15 and 30 how many hardback novels they’ve picked up and read, how many pictures they’ve drawn or painted, how many musical instruments they play, how many museums they’ve visited, or how many states they have traveled to (those trips not sanctioned through an educational institution). I fear the answer would be frightfully, staggeringly low.
- Their collective apathy. The millennials are most likely, most frequently, and quickest to ask “who cares?” because they haven’t been taxed or positioned to question ANYTHING around them. When you are right about everything, there couldn’t possibly be a reason to think about it any further.
- They lack respect for people, words, and humanity in general. Technology has shaped newer generations into insular lumps by confining their interests to a small screen and not toward other humans or the bigger picture of the world. When suddenly thrust into social situations requiring engagement, talking, and eye contact, they freeze with fear. They become defiant and defensive, protecting their space like a ferocious tiger would horde a slab of raw meat.
- They’ve simply not been educated to care. Humans, regardless of age, need a foundation – purpose, reason – to act. Whether an excuse or reward are those which can justify and entice behavior, they all fare much better than the old mother’s threat, “Because I said so”.
Conversely, it is the generations of boomers and Xs that are also very likely to express the apathetic “who cares?”, but for different reasons. As an X-er, I can attest that that is an attitude or approach that will simply come with age. We learn to pick our battles as we age.
Do NOT confuse aging with maturing. They are mutually exclusive.
Caring about anything is good human nature. Attentiveness to what we say, how we say it, how we portray that which we pronounce is the foundation of our existence and we will reap what we sow…whether we care or not.
The next time you find yourself reading a news article or listening to someone speak and you notice that your reaction is “who cares?”, prepare yourself to change your mindset by practicing these:
- Question everything. Do not wait for an answer – go out and find it for yourself. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it will come to you and the impact it will have.
- Correct yourself and others. Be opened to someone who tells you that you’ve spelled or pronounced a word incorrectly, and scold someone who constantly speaks profanely. Not only will you increase your skills in grammar, you will strengthen your tolerance, confidence, and humility as a human.
- Open your mind. Sign up for websites that feed the information to you. It’s painless, not remotely time consuming, and you just may find great interest in it: https://www.dictionary.com/e/word-of-the-day/.
- Write. Read. Talk. Practice makes perfect. As in anything we do, the improvement comes with consistency.
Tell yourself “I care” and practice it.