TRIP UPDATE: We’ve done a lot of KM’s team is starting to get frustrated with each other and the singing in the car. No one wants to write about the trip. All the writers have other topics in mind that are much more interesting than another bloody travel blog in the world or fashion blog or self help blog. So they keep saying but I guess you the readers will be the judge of that as you are week in week out. Having travelled the 2500 kms to reach our destination on the NSW coast just past Wollongong, it’s time for a little relaxing, some swimming and winding down before we all head back to work next week.
Since no one wanted to write about the trip, we battered around topics and someone yelled out two words that made the boss sit up a little straighter in his chair and ask ‘what the fuck?’. Those two words, aren’t words that usually go together and two words that well, unless the topic is well and truly understood and explained, people may take issue with. We already know a few people who will read the first couple of paragraphs and comment without reading any further and actually understanding the topic. So before you become all righteous and moral please read on and understand what it is we are really talking about.
When traveling in a car there aren’t a lot of things that can be done other than listening to music, playing eye spy or getting in some good old sleep. There are those certain people that are able to read without getting motion sickness which if you can is a great way to kill time on a road trip. The A Mind of Its Own team however decided that since they had time to kill they would put on audiobooks, listen to podcasts they’ve been meaning to get to and even take photos, videos and audio of the car trip. Whilst listening to an audiobook the topic of ‘Outrage Porn’ came up. Yeah that’s right OUTRAGE PORN for all of you who are now starting to think to themselves that there was no disclaimer at the beginning of the blog warning, that this would turn x-rated within the first couple of paragraphs. Get your filthy minds out of the gutter for a couple of minutes it takes you to read this post. This topic has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with porn, the porn industry or anything that could be remotely collarated back to actual pornography.
And in the space of one sentence we’ve just lot 90% of our male readers and perhaps some of our female readers as well. We are sorry to disappoint you guys, I’m sure one of the more salty individuals on the team could write about it at one point for you. Outrage Porn, a phrase that referrers to any type of media that is specifically written and or designed to evoke outrage for the purpose of getting traffic or online attention. So basically it’s people and or organisations who are going around, picking up on an idea, issue and or something that outrages someone and fanning the flames of that rage to ensure that more and more people become outraged by it. Could you call them professional shit stirrers? We guess you could but with social media these days everyone has an opinion about everything and is happy to voice it.
With everyone having an opinion and having a platform to voice it is it hard not to offend someone at some point throughout your life whether intentionally or unintentionally people are more more and more empowered to speak out against things they don’t like or feel are oppressing them. By generating this outrage that will yes, likely outrage someone else through a topic that is mildly offensive or not at all offensive, the example used was a book about racism being read at a university to teach people that racism is not ok. While we are busy battling between each other about bullshit that doesn’t even matter and the media is profiting off our feud as they continue to flame the hatred on each side of the invisible battlelines drawn we are missing the real picture.
Society is being distracted from it’s real problems. We have too many self proclaimed victims are taking attention away from actual victims. The example the writer used, was that its like the story of the boy who cried wolf. With more and more people claiming they are victims, the harder it becomes for society to see who the actual victims are. With the media creating outrage over every miniscule situation the larger issues begin to lose the attention they need and deserve. We aren’t saying that people aren’t entitled to their opinion or to feel victimised. What we are saying here is that there are issues that should be given a lot of attention like sexual assault, violence against women and the likes but with the Fog of bullshit floating around it’s hard to get messages that actually matter out to the public, where changes can be made.
Unfortunately people have become addicted to feeling offended, the author of the audiobook that gave us this idea explains that like taking drugs, people can come addicted to becoming offended. To put it in his words “It gives them a high; being self righteous and morally superior feels good”. It explains why we have so many people who are happy to take offense to any and everything. In some regards social media has become like a soapbox in which they can stand and play there moral violins until there little hearts are content all the while forgetting there are actual societal issues that really need addressing. As much as these people with their opinions are to blame so is the media. They know that feel good stories do not sell news, newspapers or magazines. They know that outrage porn is like the sex of yesteryear, it sells! People have short attention spans and the best way to get there attention is outrage.
As written in the book, the public sharing of injustices gains far more attention and outpourings of emotions than almost all other events shared on social media these days. It rewards people who themselves feel victimised with a growing amount of attention and sympathy. Anyone who is offended about anything feels like they have been oppressed in someway and therefore deserves to be outraged and have some attention can stand up and voice that opinion. If the media or other followers get a hold of it and repost it or retweet it, we find ourself in the outrage porn cycle where someone will no doubt take offense to those who have already taken offense. As Mark Manson the author states “Victimhood Chic, a responsibility/fault fallacy that allows people to pass off responsibility for solving their problems to others. This ability to alleviate responsibility through blame gives people a temporary high and feeling of moral righteousness”
Pit two outraged individuals against each other and the story almost writes and sells itself. In a networked world it’s hard to work out what to listen to and what to ignore these days. Democracy allows us freedom of speech and that freedom allows every individual to voice their opinion whether it is right or wrong. We my not agree with it, just like we may not like everyone we come across but we do have to accept it. Pick your battles they say, take everything with a healthy dose of skepticism particularly when it comes to the media. They are paid money to provide us with news whether its an actual story or one that’s grown from fanning the flames someone perceived moral outrage.
Mainly don’t waste your time or energy on things that aren’t going to serve you well in the long run. There is always going to be something to take offense at, there is always going to be an individual or group who feel there has been an injustice towards them or take issues with a topic or person. Moral outrage will forever have a place in democratic societies, it’s the world we live in and the price you pay for living in a democratic society. Everyone has an opinion and a right to voice that opinion, no ands, ifs or buts. It’s just the way it is, like it or lump it. If you really feel outraged we can find someone to turn it from a small issues into a full blown issues probably within the space of 20 minutes after it’s been posted to social media.
Just try to keep in mind that through all the noise and bullshit out there, there are actual victims who need to be heard. We are all for the voicing of opinions and people feeling like they have been victimised but please don’t let your small problem get in the way of someone with an actual problem who has been wronged in the world and needs, deserves to heard. By all means take offense to this blog but at the end of the day there are far bigger things that deserve attention than people taking issue with a blog about people taking issue to small insignificant things and muddying the water for those who need to be seen through it.
Some of you will have picked up that some of the ideas in this blog came to us from Mark Manson’s book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Normally here at A Mind of Its own we are not ones for self help books but as we ate up the road we listened in to the audiobook and started to see that the man has a lot of good points and we were able to relate them to our lives or see them from the perspective picture he was painting. So if you are interested in broadening your horizons and looking at ways in which you can see things from another perspective we highly recommend you check out his book. The premise as we’ve had to explain several times is not what the title suggests.
So as we close this chapter on Outrage Porn and the media fanning the flames of victims outrage all around the world we’ve looked back at our own outrage and decided that enough is enough and we’ll take responsibilities for our problems rather than palming them off or evoking injustice throughout the country for someone to get outraged against. And we’ll just say we look forward to our next blog! Until then there is all of last years posts that you can look back through, laugh and cry or be outraged until your heart’s content. Take it easy!!! The team at A Mind of Its Own…