We have developed a system of outrage. I could point the fingers at the many reasons why this is becoming the norm and who has contributed to this but it seems like the outrage isn’t stopping and it is becoming worse each day.
There is an advantage of having a society that is full of outrage: Society can be controlled by it.
There was a situation in Australian Survivor series (2017) when a male contestant thought that he had upset a female contestant. He had told her information that was to get her angry. He says words to the camera that go a little something like this “I’m feeding her anger, because if she’s angry, I can control her, and control her vote”. It was a bit of a light bulb moment for me. It was never so clear to me as it was in that moment – that people will use the worst emotions to manipulate and change a situation. The female contestant explains to the camera later in the show how she was faking anger to make the male contestant think he was controlling her.
With social media there is opportunity for outrage everywhere. The good news is we can use social media to shed light on many difficult and painful situations around the world that would normally be ignored, and bring it into the public. The outrage of this unfair and painful situation can bring about effective change. This is a brilliant strategy to make the world a better place. It’s useful. It betters bad situations.
The downfall is when we become outraged over anything and everything: “uncontrolled outrage”. We get used to being in a state of outrage – or calling people out about anything and everything. There is an short-term advantage to this too, but added long term harmful consequences: The advantage is that outrage can prove to be a distraction from our own difficult lives, things we don’t want to face. Outrage with others does not allow us to focus on our own situations that need improvement. This, in the long term, will harm us.
One of the best ways to be an contributing member of society is to look in the mirror (I really want to break out into that Michael Jackson song), and make changes to who we are and to better ourselves.
One of the ways we can help us survive this time of outrage is to be balanced with it. Yes, we should be outraged with the horrible things in the world, but we also must keep ourselves in check so we don’t allow that outrage to control us. Anger and outrage are emotions used to control, and we must be careful with it so we don’t cause more damage and pain to others by those emotions.
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