to be known.”
People use the word ‘shock’ a lot. The news keeps telling us how shocked we should be. Politicians are always shocked. Most things they use the word shock for, are not, in fact, shocking.
Shockingly, we’re still cavepeople. We just happen to be living in a modern world. The modern trend is toward being positive, but there is a reason humans tend to be negative. It kept us alive. It was important to caution your family, friends, even strangers about: the wolves in the forest, the cliff behind the bush, the saber tooth tiger about to jump on their head, the rabid bats in the cave, the poison berries, and so on. We spoke of, then later, wrote about negative things not always to dwell on them, but to often to help others, protect others. And sometimes, other times, it’s just mean.
Now we warn people about bad restaurants on Yelp, about faulty products, bad apps, terrible service, overcharging, scams, hoaxes, crimes, we even warn people are triggers and spoilers…Constant weather talk, a throwback to warning people about possible dangers. Gossip. Complaining. Oversharing on social media. Maybe it all throws back to this instinct to warn people. And when we feel people aren’t heeding the warnings, more aggressive, provocative, shocking language and images are used.
Things people are shocked by…but why?
1. It’s not shocking when someone dies. Poor, rich, old, young, famous, unknown…it can be sad, sudden, heartbreaking, but not shocking. To the best of my knowledge, everyone dies, unless there’s something I don’t know.
2. People make stuff up to get attention, money, power, and all kinds of stuff. People lie for all kinds of reason and sometimes, for no reason. Stupid, but not shocking.
3. TV, movies, even most books aren’t supposed to be your moral compass. Shockingly many of them contain questionable moral content. They’re entertainment.
4. Adultery and cheating. Why call them shocking? Wouldn’t have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too-cowards be more accurate?
5. News about money, sports, politics that you hear will make no sense whatsoever, sometimes in the same sentence, definitely 5 minutes from now, an hour, day, month, year. Too often confabulation, time-fillers, ratings-getters. When there’s blood in the water, in the race to tell us something, anything there’s little time for facts. Pathetic, pandering, and vacuous, not shocking.
6. Business is meant to be confusing, so don’t be shocked that Guerrilla Marketing doesn’t involve putting guerillas in adorable outfits while using the latest iPhone apps, and The Fatal 2% Rule has to do with market share, not 2% of main characters on TV shows being killed off, cough, cough, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, cough, cough.
7. It’s not shocking when fictional characters do bad things, things you don’t agree with, and even when they die (see #6)…it actually makes them less fictional and more realistic.
8. Relationships are uber complicated, ok, sometimes shockingly so…
9. Celebrities do weird stuff, say weird stuff, and/or wear weird stuff to get attention, you know, publicity. Shocker.
10. People do horrible things to each other, and for each other. You don’t have to like it, but it’s not shocking.
11. Don’t be shocked when people show their true colours and/or let you down, just try not to put yourself in the position where they can do it again.
12. It’s not shocking kittens and puppies are cute. Ok, maybe shock and awww.