A dedicated nurse committed suicide over her guilt of revealing details of Duchess Kate’s morning sickness, because two radio DJs tricked her into it, by pretending to be the Queen and Prince. The online frenzy circulating nasty remarks over Kate’s condition, compounded the guilt of the nurse, pushing her to take her own life.
Repeated incidents of gunmen going on shooting spree, getting highlighted in media. Public catching up in the frenzy, blaming lawmakers for lack of gun control, but not recognizing that public attention is giving perpetrators added motivation to carry out their deeds to be glorified and “get back at the world”.
In China, stabbing sprees of the same nature. Perpetrators analyzed to be suffering mental disorders, perhaps from stresses of the modern world.
At this rate, who needs end of the world apocalypse on 21 Dec 2012. Perhaps the prophecy is already coming true in the way the world is tearing itself apart through the internet and social media. With so much bullying online, who needs real bullets?
At home, the events appear less bloody in nature. But it’s the same bullying.
When there are too many foreign workers in the country, the people harass the Government to tighten the tap, and give preferential treatment to locals. When foreign workers go on strike, people pressure for Government to be “human” and treat all equally.
SMRT’s well-intended efforts to help Chinese elderly who do not understand English get around better by introducing Mandarin translation to train station name announcements, gets mocked and eventually bullied out of operation.
And what about the case of Michael Palmer. If the party had tried to be compassionate and lets him continue service, hide the identity of the girl, the public will say the party is protecting its own kind, condoning such characters, and eventually harass every single party involved for the identity of the lady in question on the pretext of transparency.
But having done what they think is the right thing in taking full responsibility and account to the public, now people are saying the party is quick to axe Palmer and squeal on the girl to “cut liabilities”.
The irony is perhaps that after leaving these comments in such and such Facebook page, these same people continue to type comments in others bashing up Palmer, and slut-calling the girl involved, together with the rest of the online world.
You can’t win. Every step you take is being watched, being attacked, and the bullets come from all directions. The people doing so are not so different from the gunmen – just shooting thoughtlessly, indiscriminately and at anyone.
Well, it’s fun for a while, watching the people in power squirm and panic and keeping them on their toes so that complacency don’t set in, and they have to think of ways to serve the people better.
But the fear of ridicule has also begun to drive paralysis. We see organizations moving backwards rather than forward, as seen in the case of the Mandarin train station names effort. Good leaders being axed for being human.
As we near the predicted end of the world date, let’s think about what really could end the world. Since the world wars, we’ve taken pains to avoid nuclear fall-out, moved away from dictatorships, frowned on discriminations, protected ourselves from terrorism and tried to unite the world in peace. But are the threats really from the dangerous world “out-there”?
Think about it when you deliberate your next “critical” Facebook comment.