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  • Writer's pictureCalvin

Bad Rap

There is admittedly a lot of negative news in the media these days. Everyone is complaining about the latest tool, the latest gadget, the latest headlines. It seems like negative stories usually dominate the day. After all, those types of stories usually get more eyeballs and viewership, thus generating more profitability for the papers.

I live in a Democratic bubble, so I see a lot of complaints about the Republican party. I see people complain about the toxicity of social media. I see people complaining about the coverage of mainstream media as well. I see people complaining about politics. I see people complaining about capitalist greed. I see people complaining about people asking for handouts. People complain constantly. It’s part of their nature.

I don’t inherently see anything wrong with these negative views and opinions. Negativity does have a place in society as well. It helps encourage change and hopefully innovation. It hopefully encourages companies to improve. It encourages questions and alternative thinking. It’s a form of growth.

And I think a healthy form of pessimism can lead to greater inventions and economic opportunities for society. The more efficient a company runs, the greater opportunities for employment for the masses. The better stories a news media covers, the more healthily informed the public becomes. So, it’s not all rotten apples when it comes to negativity.

At the same time, though, I must play devil’s advocate and commend all these tools at our disposal. I understand that many things in life are a double-edged sword. It really depends on how the individual uses the tool. The actions speak louder than words.

Take social media, for example. Yes, it can become very toxic if you just compare your mundane ordinary lifestyle with the highlight reels of people on social media. It can foster a sense of insufficiency. But social media also has the power for potential good. It can spread healthy ideas at breathtaking pace if used correctly. It can be a source of inspiration depending on the type of content that you post. It can even be a source of joy, humor, and peace. It really depends on the content that you consume.

If you consume conspiracy theories and agitated material on social media, then you will obviously become more paranoid and discontent with the world around you. If you just look at inspirational quotes or puppy and cat videos, then maybe you will actually grow to become a healthier and happier person!

Or take the news media, for example. Yes, they at times can blast a lot of negative news. But their inherent duty is to inform the public. And it’s important that the public be informed of the things that are going around their lives. If there is a hurricane or a death or a murder or a robbery, the public does deserve to know. So, that they know how to respond appropriately.

The coverage can instigate change. Think about the George Floyd movement, and how that can instigate reflection and fight for institutional change. Think about the coverage of the Ukraine war, and how that can instigate international support from people all over the world. Think about the coverage of COVID, and how that can help people be informed about the disease and stay safe as a community.

So, the news media is an important pillar of society as well. And if used correctly, it can be very powerful and very necessary.

Or how about politics. People complain all the time about politicians these days. Their greed. Their corruption. Their incompetence. Their tribalism. And all of that is warranted. But at the end of the day, even they play an obviously important role in the health of our society. They are the ones that pass our laws that shape our country. They are the ones who are supposed to serve the people. They are the ones who fight for their constituents.

Yes, politicians get a bad rap in society. And they can definitely come across as inauthentic and fake. But they are still providing an essential service to the world. Because every country needs a government. Every community needs management. And people need to pay taxes to keep the country afloat. It’s a symbiotic relationship, and politicians play a role in shaping our country’s future – for better or worse.

Which brings me to the government. Our government most definitely gets a bad rap. I turn on the news, and it is complaints about the incompetence of the President. Or the inability for the legislature to get things done. It’s all about the inability of people to instill real “change” in the country – whatever that even means.

But even the government should be commended for the way they handle everything. Or at least the way they try to manage our citizens. No country is perfect. And there will always be problems in the world at just around the corner. But we still need to support our governments as private citizens of the world. And their responsibility to take care of an entire community is no easy task. It should be respected and commended.

So, many of these tools and people get a bad rap in the public eye. They may be seen as severely damaging the psyche of our community. But at the end of the day, there is always another side. And I choose to see these tools and people in a positive light. In a helpful way. They all play an integral part in my life. And if used correctly, they can help provide positive value to our mundane everyday lives.

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