Step up and say it.
How we are raising the most non-confrontational generation in history, and why that is a problem.
I wish my parents had told me I sucked, or at least that I was an atrocious soccer player. However, they didn’t, as any conscientious parent would.
Instead, I was handed my shiny gold trophy with both of my coaches feeding half-baked compliments about my sportsmanship and team-player attitude down my throat. All while I munched on mini-Oreo cookies and sipped from those Kool-Aid bottles with the twist-off caps.
To me, I’d had a pretty outstanding day. Free sweet-treats, and a glimmering new trophy to add to my collection of ‘bling’, as my dad called it.
But, what that ‘bling’ didn’t tell my naive six year old mind was that I didn’t win anything. I simply participated.
I participated the hell out of that soccer season, in fact I participated so well that I came back the following season to participate some more! (Until I got turf-burn on my knee and elbow, cried for several hours, and didn’t touch a soccer ball again for several years)
That turf burn made me nervous to go near a soccer field, however, now my nerves have progressed and I’m flat-out scared.
I’m scared of how parents are raising their children. I’m scared of how my peers are handling their problems. I’m scared of how I’m coping with my emotions. But overall I’m scared of what lies ahead.
Think about the last time you had a crush on someone.
Did you straight-up tell that person? No.
Did you talk to that person? Perhaps.
But, did you talk to someone else about that person? Or even tweet about that person without using any names?
The answer to the previous questions is increasingly becoming “yes.”
“Oh, she liked your photo on Instagram?”
“What, he favorited two of your tweets?”
“No way, he liked your profile picture from three months ago?!”
Sadly, this isn’t a Disney original TV series. These are comments I hear on an, almost, daily basis. As Luke Christopher so masterfully rapped, “tweet about her beauty, but you never speak about it. // you want it you can get it, she said ‘send a friend request.’ // if you want more of something you should think about it less.”
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, texting, and even email have all contributed to the rising dilemma of passive-aggressiveness. No longer are the days of fist fighting and good old-fashioned tussling. Not that I’m promoting fist-fighting by any means. Although, it can’t be much worse than subtweeting.
In fact, it can be better. If I’m mad enough at someone where I’m contemplating punching them in the mouth, there are a lot of factors that I must consider first:
- Is this person deserving?
- Is this person bigger/stronger/faster than me?
- Will this person tell others or get me into further trouble?
Much of the time, after weighing my options, I come to the decision that a sucker punch to the go-nads wouldn’t be my best possible way to solve the problem at hand.
Conversely, when someone irks me to a point of computerized-strife, there is only one thing standing in my way:
- The ‘publish’ button.
Go tell that person what you really think of them, or perhaps keep it to yourself altogether. Either way, remember that you can only stay behind a screen for so long. You’ll have to come out eventually and when you do, how do you want people to receive you?
Now, perhaps I should confront the person who gave me the inspiration for this article — eh, for now I’ll just hit ‘publish’.