This article will offend, offends me. But then who am I to say what should or shouldn’t be offensive? What offends one may not offend another. But let there be no mistake about it. In today’s society, getting offended can be as simple as turning on the television.
What is it about society in general that people become so offended? And it’s not just the fact that they become offended, but with the speed that it happens. Almost as if there is never any thought put to it, just a simple, quick reaction of being offended. I would venture to use the word “triggers” or some variations of it, but apparently “triggered” is offensive. So…
#Offended By Kelly Ripa Lying About Being In Paradise – May 29, 2020
For the past three months, ever since nationwide lockdowns began, the hosts of the show Live With Kelly And Ryan have been broadcasting the show remotely from their homes. Or at least that’s what they led viewers to believe. But as it turns out, Kelly Ripa is not actually locked up in her New York apartment… she’s been on a 3 month vacation in the Caribbean the entire time.
As you can imagine, the show’s fans are a bit upset at being misled to believe Ripa was going through the same thing they’re going through, all while she’s living it up in paradise. Viewers are now bailing on the show in droves and saying things like this…
#BurgerKingIsOverParty – May 27, 2020
Twitter users get offended so frequently that sometimes it’s hard to tell when they’re serious about their outrage, or not. Such is the case with the currently trending hashtag #BurgerKingIsOverParty in which people are calling for a boycott of the fast food chain over this tweet…
Some people do seem to be kidding but others have lost their minds and are now running around calling Burger King sexist… for confusing reasons.
I’m not sure how making a joke about someone’s ex qualifies as sexist, but Twitter is going full boycott anyway with crazy barely coherent tweets like this…
#Offended By Dakota Johnson Opening Up About Her Depression – May 26, 2020
Actress Dakota Johnson is Hollywood royalty. Her mother is Melanie Griffith. Her grandmother is the iconic Tippi Hedron. She has a successful career herself, but even Dakota Johnson is feeling depressed in Coronavirus lockdown.
Apparently depression is something Johnson has struggled with entire life and when she opened up about it in a recent interview with Marie Claire, the internet decided to burn her at the stake for it.
Johnson said of her mental health issues, “I’ve struggled with depression since I was young—since I was 15 or 14. That was when, with the help of professionals, I was like, Oh, this is a thing I can fall into. But I’ve learned to find it beautiful because I feel the world… I guess I have a lot of complexities, but they don’t pour out of me. I don’t make it anyone else’s problem.”
And now people are angry because they don’t think it’s OK for Johnson to find her depression “beautiful”. She’s been getting vicious responses like this for her choice of phrasing…
#Offended By Jimmy Fallon Doing Blackface In 2000 – May 26, 2020
The outrage mob has a new target as old video of Jimmy Fallon doing blackface in an SNL sketch from the year 2000 has resurfaced. The clip has been around but activists who aren’t old enough to remember it have decided to start a campaign to cancel Fallon. The sketch featured Fallon in full blackface makeup doing an impression of Chris Rock. Here it is…
#jimmyfallonisoverparty is now the top trending topic on Twitter with people leaving ludicrous comments like this…
Director Paul Feig Blames The Failure Of His Ghostbusters Reboot On Trump – May 25, 2020
When director Paul Feig tried to reboot the Ghostbusters franchise with an all-female cast in 2016, it did not go well. The movie failed at the box office and while critics didn’t hate it, audience scores on places like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB were abysmal. Who was to blame for the Ghostbusters reboot’s failure? Paul Feig outraged half the country today when he blamed President Trump.
Talking on Sirius XM he had this to say about why his Ghostbusters movie failed: “I think some really brilliant author…needs to write a book about 2016 and how intertwined we were with Hillary [Clinton] and the anti-Hillary movement… Everyone was at a boiling point. I don’t know if it was having an African American president for eight years that they were teed up, they were just ready to explode. It’s crazy how people got nuts about women trying to be empowered or be in positions they weren’t normally in, and it was an ugly, ugly year.”
Actually it’s not entirely clear who he’s blaming here. What’s clear is that he’s not blaming himself for making a bad movie. He seems to be blaming Trump while simultaneously accusing everyone who doesn’t like his movie of being a sexist.
The response from Ghostbusters fans who hated it was immediate and they were offended. Here’s a sampling of some of what people are saying…
#Offended By John Krasinski Selling Out – May 24, 2020
Early on in the Coronavirus crisis when people were feeling pretty hopeless and down, Office star turned horror movie director John Krasinski started a YouTube series called “Some Good News”. The stated goal of the series was, well, just to deliver some good news. Krasinski claimed he was just trying to make people feel better.
SGN immediately went viral raising Krasinski’s already considerable fame even higher on the wave of good vibes he created. So after producing eight episodes… he has sold out. Krasinski sold the show to CBS and, here’s the kicker, he’s not even going to host it anymore. He used his fame to get some good PR and after getting people hooked he has cashed out.
As you’d imagine, people feel betrayed. Even a little upset. Here are just some of the reactions to Krasinski selling SGN and bailing…
#Offended By JK Rowling Supporing Anti-Trans Views – May 23, 2020
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has long been an ardent supporter of progressive causes. She even made Dumbledore gay as evidence of her support for LGBTQ rights. But now progressives have begun to turn on her, as she seems to be espousing anti-trans views.
It started way back in 2019 when she made this tweet in support of a woman who lost her job because she said that there were only two sexes…
And it was whipped up again this week when she liked this tweet posted by a Trans-Exclusionary gay activist…
In case you’re wondering, a trans-exclusionary gay activist is a gay man who has views which extreme progressives consider to be anti-trans. And those progressives who are disgusted by his views had this immediate response to JK Rowling’s approval of them…
Hollywood Tries To Stop Trump Memes – May 21, 2020
President Donald Trump has a well-documented history of retweeting memes based on Hollywood movies. Some of them are used to push a political message and some of them are just meant to be funny. Here’s an example, posted by Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale…
Memes are protected from copyright claims because they are parodies, and parodies are protected speech. But Hollywood has had enough of Trump associating himself with their content and now they’re making a move to try and put a stop to it.
Well known reporter Jack Posobiec recently posted this piece of information…
It’s unclear how much weight this “letter” would have behind it. Would it just be a piece of virtue signalling to people who hate Trump? Or would there be some attempt at tying legal consequences to it. Either way, the outrage machine is about to kick into full swing. If Trump isn’t permitted to post memes because people hate him, it will have real consequences for others who might want to create memes or parodies on controversial topics.
#Offended By Sexy Harley Quinn – May 10, 2020
Harley Quinn may have started out as a psychotic murderous villain who uses her sexuality as a weapon, but somewhere along the way she got turned into feminist icon. So when she finally got her own movie in Birds of Prey, Harley Quinn’s sexiness was dulled down and she got looser fitting shorts. But since then David Ayer, the director who first brought the character to movie screens in Suicide Squad, has been under fire for making her sexy in his movie.
This week was the week that David Ayers finally got sick of it and responded this way…
That didn’t seem to go over well though, so he followed it with this…
Sorry creepy guys, women just aren’t allowed to be sexy anymore.
#Offended By Adele Losing Weight – May 6, 2020
Singer Adele has long been obviously overweight. It hasn’t held back her career because her voice is so tremendous and her talent so obvious, that no one cared what she looked like.
Recently though, Adele has been trying to get in shape. Here’s what Adele used to look like…
And today she posted a picture of her weight loss, and the transformation is obvious and extreme. Here’s what Adele looks like now…
You’d think people would be happy for her. Losing that much weight takes a lot of dedication and work, and the benefits to her overall health will be huge. Instead though, large swaths of people are angry and outraged. Here’s what they’re saying…
#Offended By Tropic Thunder – April 30, 2020
Tropic Thunder was one of the last great comedy movies made, slipping in under the wire of wokeness that has prevented comedies from taking risks. But Tropic Thunder took ALL the risks it could and it paid off in a true comedy classic in which Robert Downey Jr. gave the performance of a lifetime.
But modern social justice warriors were in diapers when it came out and they only know Robert Downey Jr. on Iron Man. So when a bunch of them suddenly discovered it, they took their shock, horror, and outrage to Twitter and immediately launched a campaign to smear Robert Downey Jr. Here’s what some had to say…
The good news here is that RDJ is so beloved, more sensible people on Twitter were actually able to explain what was going on in Tropic Thunder and for the most part, managed to shut down the attempt to Cancel Robert Downey Jr. before it went too far. Tweets like this were nice to see…
Outraged By Chris Hayes Covering Tara Reade’s Accusations Against Joe Biden – April 30, 2020
Calls for MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes to be fired started trending on Thursday morning. At issue was Chris Hayes coverage of the sex allegations against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Hayes was the first anchor on the network to cover the story, a story which had up till then been largely ignored by mainstream media.
After Hayes covered the story on his show #FireChrisHayes began trending on Twitter with tweets like this…
#Offended By Extraction Using A Yellow Filter – April 26, 2020
Chris Hemsworth’s new action movie Extraction has been a big hit on Netflix. In our Extraction review we gave it 4/5 robots. But not everyone is happy with the film. More activist minded viewers have started accusing it of being racist.
The accusation comes because of the movie’s decision to use a yellow filter on scenes filmed in the country of Bangladesh. Here’s one example of that filter in action…
The claim is that this filter is only used by Hollywood to depict third-world countries in an effort to demean them. Additionally, many feel it uses a “white savior” trope in the plot. Here’s the outrage case being made by those who buy into it…
#Offended By Gwyneth Paltrow Donating Her Old Clothes – April 22, 2020
Gwyneth Paltrow had an old dress she never liked and wanted to get rid of. But she wore it to the Oscars once, which made the dress sort of famous. So rather than throwing it in the trash, she decided to donate it to a charity to help them out. Or at least that’s my read on the situation. Others are viewing it differently and are totally offended.
Here’s the dress in question…
The actress claims in the post that it holds great sentimental value, but she previously revealed in the past that she never liked the dress. In her old blog post on the subject she says of that specific dress, “It’s an Okay dress but not Oscars material. I chose it because I wanted to disappear that year.“
So the internet decided to rip her to shreds. Here’s some of the responses she’s getting…
blake.gottt – “Donate money not a dress you “can’t” wear anymore”
michelle_boor – “Bid on a dress. Are you joking. Just help people. I can not applaud you my uncle has started a covid challenge to GIVE to people in need. And you are talking about auctioning an old Calvin dress right now. Wake up ‼️”
catherine.hofstetter.71 – “she could have chosen another dress. Not a dress she has publicly stated she didn’t like and isn’t “Oscar worthy “.”
David J Harris Jr@DavidJHarrisJr – “$100 million net worth and she donated a dress she didn’t like.”
Elizabeth S Jones@elizsjones· – “Can we simply keep building The Wall ALL the way around California?”
Kyle @Kyle29574810· – “another money hoarder, but there are some wealthy people that actually help people, conor mcgregor built 8 homes for homeless families, the worst is when these multimillionaires with 25k purses ask for donations to a gofundme for a guy that needs a 25k operation, strange behavior”
Twitter Tries To Cancel Adam Driver For Joining The Military – April 21, 2020
The hashtag #adamdriverisoverparty started trending on Twitter when the outrage mob decided that the fact that Adam Driver joined the military back in 2001 and served as a Marine for three years meant he was a racist. Driver in the past has said he joined the Marine after 9/11 to support his country, and the outrage mafia has twisted this to mean that since he wanted to fight terrorism he must like killing brown people.
This of course made no sense, and for once common sense prevailed. The hashtag was soon completely overwhelmed by Star Wars fans jumping to Adam Driver’s defense. Here’s how they successfully defended him…
Josh Brolin Forced To Apologize For Visiting His Parents – April 21, 2020
Josh Brolin and his family live next door to his father James Brolin and step-mother Barbara Streisand. So since they are all quarantining and live right next door to each other, Brolin and his wife thought it would be nice to take their kids over to see their grandparents. Then he posted a picture of it, and the internet attacked him for not properly social distancing. That has now forced him to issue this apology…
Here’s a transcript of what he says…
“My father lives next door to us and we had a plan to go see them and not be near them and that plan was broken and that is our responsibility. We were going to pick something up and show Bean the pool because we don’t have a pool, and I think it was irresponsible. It’s hard to be honest sometimes. It’s hard to be honest and say, ‘Maybe I screwed up. I knew that was in the air, not because of the responses, but the responses brought me back to my own truth. It’s humbling as hell, because I know there are some people out there [with] no masks, no gloves, no interest in it, they think it’s in your head, that you’ll survive because of immunity that is created because of your own psychic weight. But, I know for me that’s not the case, and we’ve been very responsible, and I apologize about that.“
Josh Brolin has been forced to apologize for loving his parents too much to stay away from them. This may be getting out of hand.
Outraged By Paris Jackson Playing Jesus – April 20, 2020
Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris Jackson has decided she wants to pursue a career in fame. So she’s been working on stepping into the limelight, first with a lot of body positive topless photos on Instagram and now by playing Jesus Christ in an upcoming movie called Habit.
The first image of Paris Jackson as the son of, er daughter of God, appeared online today and it looks like this…
As you’d imagine, religious people are kind of offended to have their savior portrayed as a rich party girl with a nose stud. So the outrage has been fast and furious. Here’s a sampling of just some of the outrage being directed Paris Jackson’s way…
#Offended By Hulk Hogan Posting A Photo Of His Wife – April 20, 2020
Most sources seem to agree that transmission rates for the Coronavirus are low when you’re outside and, they’re even lower if you go outside and simply use all that open space to stay away from other people. But the internet isn’t having it, so when Hulk Hogan posted this photo of his wife on the beach…
The world went crazy and tried to destroy him for daring to leave his house at a time when the best way to virtue signal is by staying home. So people said horrible things like this to him…
There’s absolutely no one around Hulk Hogan and his wife at all in the photo. They are social distancing as far as we can tell from the picture and doing nothing which could spread COVID-19. And Hogan lives on the beach so this is probably his own private back yard, actually. But that hasn’t stopped the internet from being mad.
#Offended By Rashida Jones Playing A Black Woman – April 17, 2020
Actress Rashida Jones is starring in and directing a new show called #BlackAF for Netflix, and the internet is up in arms. It seems half the internet didn’t know she was a black woman and believe she’s using her heretofore unknown heritage as a way to cash in. The other half of the internet is outraged at the other half of the internet for not knowing she was black and daring to think she was ever anything but.
Rashida Jones is actually mixed race. Her dad is superstar musician Quincy Jones and her mom is actress Peggy Lipton. So I guess both sides are right and wrong? Either way, everyone’s mad and saying things like this…
#Offended By A Game Show From The Seventies – April 17, 2020
Actor Richard Dawson was the host of the game show Family Feud from 1976 – 1985. During that time he became something of a beloved figure in pop culture. He also did this with all the female contestants and everyone found it endearing…
Richard Dawson died 2012 but now the internet has decided to #Cancel him retroactively. The hive minds on places like Twitter and Reddit are reacting with outrage to his behavior, probably because they’re all stuck at home in quarantine and watching old game shows or something.
Unfortunately given that he’s in the grave Richard Dawson is beyond their reach, but his legacy as a beloved figure from the time is up for grabs. So the internet is now trying to destroy it saying things like this…
#Offended By Dr. Phil Talking About Reopening America – April 17, 2020
As protests against the increasingly extended COVID-19 driven lockdowns in the United States have begun to grow, so too have the voices speaking out to say they’re unnecessary. That’s drawn the ire of the hive-mind on places like Twitter, where they’ve decided to single out Dr. Phil for special hatred.
Dr. Phil went on Laura Ingraham to voice the idea that shutting down the country might do more harm than good, saying this…
The internet responded by labeling him “Mr. Phil” and saying things like this…
But of course Dr. Phil is actually a doctor, just not a medical doctor. He has a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of North Texas (though he is not currently licensed to practice). When you get a PhD, you get to call yourself Doctor. That’s how the title works. Unfortunately, when people don’t like what someone says they don’t argue with their view, they tend to simply attack the messenger…
#Offended By Dennis Quaid Saying Good Things About Trump – April 8, 2020
Twitter erupted into hatred directed at actor Dennis Quaid when the actor went on the record with The Daily Beast and said this about President Trump’s handling of the Coronavirus Pandemic…
“Well, to tell you the truth, I think the president is handling it in a good way. We see him on television every day, he’s involved, and the travel ban early on was a great idea—which he did in spite of protest about that. But I don’t want to get into the protest. I’m an independent…”— Dennis Quaid
The outrage was immediate with Twitter pronouncing him cancelled as Dennis Quaid became the number one trending topic. His hashtag is filled with people directing profanity at him and accusing him of being terrible and hoping he gets the Coronavirus.
#Offended By Tracy Morgan On The Today Show – April 7, 2020
Tracy Morgan appeared on the Today Show and did what Tracy Morgan does, said crazy outrageous things. In this case he said them about his life living the Coronavirus, and perhaps most critically to those looking to be offended… he voiced support for President Trump.
Here’s what Tracy said…
The internet erupted in open war over Tracy. Some were angry that he was being so flippant and that he would dare to defend the President. Others are angry that anyone would dare to say Tracy Morgan isn’t funny. Nobody’s happy, except maybe his wife, who Tracy says he impregnated three times while locked in quarantine.
#Offended By The World Health Organization Putting On A Concert In The Middle Of A Pandemic – April 6, 2020
In a move that can only be described as utterly baffling, during the peak of the Coronavirus crisis the World Health Organization decided to spend time and resources putting on a celebrity-filled televised concert/telethon called “One World: Together At Home”. They used one of their press briefings, which is normally for giving out vital information to save lives, to give the Lady Gaga the mic and announce it.
The internet immediately reacted with confusion, outrage, and conspiracy theories. More on that in a minute.
The event will be hosted by Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. Performers include Paul McCartney, Elton John, Billie Eilish and Finneas, Lizzo, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Kacey Musgraves, J Balvin, Keith Urban, Alanis Morissette, Lang Lang, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Joe Armstrong, Burna Boy and Maluma
This plan comes on the heels of Gal Gadot’s attempt to bring celebrities together on Instagram by singing “Imagine”. If you want to know how badly that went, just scroll down. So far this idea seems to be going just as well.
Here’s how the internet has been reacting to “One World”, which will air simultaneously on CBS, NBC, and ABC on April 18th…
That Time Britney Spears Claimed To Be Faster Than Usain Bolt – March 26, 2020
I’m not sure if people are offended by Britney Spears feeling she could lie to them about her athletic prowess to score brownie points, or amused that anyone would make up a lie so dumb. Whichever it is, the internet is simultaneously doing both as Britney Spears took to Instagram to claim she’s faster than the fastest runner in the world, Usain Bolt.
It started when she made this post on Instagram…
She soon deleted the post but the Twitter user above captured it before she did. In the post she claimed to run the 100 meter dash in just 5.97 seconds. Had she actually run that time, she would currently be the world record holder. The actual world record holder for the 100 meter dash is Usain Bolt with a record of 9.58 seconds.
I’m just going to come out and say it: I believe it. Britney Spears is secretly Sonic the Hedgehog. At last we know the truth.
Outraged By Jeremy Renner Blaming Coronavirus For Reducing Child Support – March 25, 2020
In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, millionaire actor Jeremy Renner went to court and filed documents asking a Judge to reduce the amount he has to pay in child support to his ex, Sonny Pacheco. As a reason, he cites the Coronavirus pandemic and says it has left him short on funds just like it has for millions of Americans.
According to TMZ the documents filed say he knew he would be short on funds since he isn’t working on the Avengers anymore, but he did have work lined up. Unfortunately, “it is likely that most productions will not resume again prior to the end of the year. As such, the projects that I had previously lined up to film this year are likely cancelled or postponed.”
Among the projects Renner had lined up is a Hawkeye series he was working on for Disney Plus.
It’s worth noting that Renner is paying $30,000 a month in child support currently. So it’s not like it could be reduced $10k or so and still provide his child with a pretty lavish lifestyle, especially in a time when most Americans literally don’t have jobs at all. Renner is asking the judge to let him pay $11,000.
Now the outrage machine is against Renner for using the Coronavirus as an excuse to give his kid’s mom less money.
People stuck at home with no way to pay their bills and with quarantine rules preventing them from doing anything about it aren’t feeling sympathetic to millionaires squabbling over the leftovers of Avengers paychecks past.
Offended By Kirstie Alley Thanking President Trump – March 24, 2020
Actress Kirstie Alley is probably best known for playing Savvik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan or for being on Cheers. But she’s also a well known scientologist and apparently, a strident conservative.
The thirty or forty percent of America that hates Donald Trump went crazy with hate this morning when Kirstie Alley posted a tweet thanking the President. Here’s the tweet…
She soon began trending on Twitter as people attacked her with a rabid ferocity for daring to say nice things about a leader during a crisis. Here’s just some of the offended anger being sent her way…
Offended By Gal Gadot Singing Imagine – March 19, 2020
Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot and most other celebrities are holed up in their mansions under self-quarantine. And because they’re celebrities and they are rich, they don’t have to try to find a way to work by telecommuting from home while their kids (who are no longer in school) run around flinging cheerios at them. They also don’t have to worry about how they’ll pay their rent when they’ve lost their job because the government has closed down all restaurants.
So they’re bored and they have all the free time in the world sit around and do things like this…
The internet, which is largely comprised of people who don’t have time to be bored in quarantine because they’re too busy trying to figure out a way to homeschool their kids because they are never going to be allowed to go to school ever again, was instantly #offended.
Soon it went beyond just people on Twitter to Joe Rogan, who hosts not only the biggest talkshow in the world but by most estimates is watched and listened to by more people than just about any other show in the world period. And Joe ripped her a new one. Here’s Joe Rogan and comedian Tom Segura…
Rogan hilariously points out, “This is not the time when everyone’s grammy’s dying you f**king idiot, to sing imagine there’s no heaven.”
Here’s a sampling of just some of the #Offended Twitter reactions…
Offended Over Vanessa Hudgens’ Coronavirus Thoughts – March 17, 2020
The internet went wild with anger and outrage when actress and sometimes singer Vanessa Hudgens made some fairly obvious, though emotionally tone-deaf, comments on Instagram. She was doing what everyone in the world is doing: talking about the Coronavirus. But she’s a celebrity.
So when Hudgens thought out loud and said of the Coronavirus lockdowns: “Until July sounds like a bunch of (expletive), I’m sorry, but like it’s a virus, I get it, I respect it… Even if everybody gets it, like yeah, people are going to die which is terrible, but inevitable? I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t be doing this right now.” …the world tilted on its axis and everyone laid and egg over this, rather than worrying about the actual Coronavirus. I guess we all needed a break.”
Here are some of the most ridiculous and outraged responses that resulted…
As you can see, most of the responses ranged from barely incoherent, to even more offensive than what Vanessa said, to I’m going to co-opt this whole thing to push my own agenda about how rich people are evil. So Vanessa walked her comments back and performed the societally mandated apology…
Absolutely no one seemed to accept her apology and six hours later she was still trending on Twitter to classy comments like this one…
Offended Over Wolverine Being Gay – March 12, 2020
In X-Men #7, released in February of 2020, there’s a panel which has made some comic book fans suspect that Marvel is trying to make Wolverine gay.
Here’s the panel in question…
Whether that indicates that Marvel is trying to make Wolverine gay or not (and it seems a pretty thin indicator), people on all sides are freaking out and getting #offended. Here’s some of the reaction…
TRIGGERED… BUT WHY?
So, what is it that “stimulates” the offensive gene in people so quickly? How are they so easily “provoked” and “initiated”? Members of the “get off my lawn” (GOML) generation struggle to find an answer when it seems obvious to Millenials. It’s a moving target that seems to be gaining momentum.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE OFFENDED
Offense, as defined by researchers, is a feeling that is “triggered by a blow to a person’s honor”. There’s that word again. A person can make a comment about your haircut. Offense taken. Perhaps an in-law makes a “suggestion” about your parenting style. Offense taken. The leader of the Free World makes an off-color comment. Offense taken. Characters on a TV show are portrayed as caricatures. Offense taken.
Psychologists define three phases you go through when feeling offended:
- The offended person will identify the cause of said offense and work to develop some type of interpretation.
- The offended person, based on oneself, will attempt to determine the intensity of the offensive feeling that is based on their belief of self and whether the offending person has the same beliefs.
- The offended person has some type of reaction based on a number of factors. The person has chosen to be offended as soon as they begin to go through these phases.
Let’s go back to the second one, since the first is easily explained and gets you started down that road. Insecurity is a common reason for the intensity of feeling offended. This is based on ideas and feelings about self, or self-concept. If a person is not strong in the self-concept arena, then getting offended is more likely to happen.
The “who” (as in who says what) is another strong reason to allow oneself to be offended. You may find yourself more highly offended if a boss were to make the same comment someone you hardly know would make. Some people carry more weight than others, “triggering” your offense.
The experiences we have in our lives shape our psychosocial development. Basically, this is where an individual will learn from not only their own experiences but also from watching the experiences of others. Our own personal experiences will condition us to think and respond in ways we may never realize.
For instance, a negative experience with a person may always lead us to believe that every experience with that person will be negative. And because of this, these feelings may transfer themselves to others who act, look and behave in the same way.
Society and culture both have their pressures. Both have expectations. There are ways of behaving and responding that society expects, people are judged and evaluated.
Social media and media, in general, have a way of shaping these expectations. They tell you both appropriate and inappropriate ways to respond to events, cultural, religious, and political.
A HISTORY OF GETTING OFFENDED
So, is it generational? Not so fast. Perhaps being offended is something that we were all along but are just recently finding our voice to make it known. Back in the GOML generation, they didn’t have the “luxury” of social media. They had the occasional piece of offensive material on TV or at the local movie theater but that was by choice.
The television show Soap premiered in 1977 on ABC and was immediately considered controversial and offensive for its portrayal of a gay character (Billy Crystal as Jodie). Look how far we’ve come. We had that occasional offensive guy at school or at work, but they were accepted and a known quantity.
HOW GETTING OFFENDED RUINS LIVES
Today, everyone has a soapbox they can stand on. We know that soapbox to be social media. Anyone with a cell phone or internet access can drop their “words of wisdom” as to how they find certain things offensive. And it’s not just the GOML guy either. Take, for instance, the story of Justine Sacco. It’s a cruel lesson where the author of a tweet finds themselves funny, when many, many more see her words as immediately offensive.
Sacco was a 30-year old senior director of corporate communications at a company called IAC. It was 2013 and she was on her way to visit family in South Africa from New York. She started off by tweeting “jokes” about travel and those around her.
“‘Weird German Dude: You’re in First Class. It’s 2014. Get some deodorant.’ — Inner monologue as I inhale BO. Thank God for pharmaceuticals,” was one.
When she made it to London Heathrow, she popped off another. “Chilly — cucumber sandwiches — bad teeth. Back in London!”
And then came the coup de grâce on her final leg into Cape Town, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
I’m sure you can see where we are going with this. By the time her 11-hour flight landed, her phone was blowing up. Her Twitter feed was in overdrive. She received a message from her best friend to call her immediately.
The outrage by her “offensive” tweet was huge. Her employer, IAC even joined in, “This is an outrageous, offensive comment. Employee in question currently unreachable on an intl flight.”
Then it got worse as social media is known to do. “Oh man, @JustineSacco is going to have the most painful phone-turning-on moment ever when her plane lands” and “We are about to watch this @JustineSacco bitch get fired. In REAL time. Before she even KNOWS she’s getting fired.”
In fact, one Twitter user actually went to the airport in Cape Town to take pictures of her as she got off the plane. That person did. This one Tweet by a person who thought she was making a joke cost her dearly. She lost her job, she lost her identity, she lost herself. She is not the only victim (if victim is the correct word for it), there have been plenty more in this age of social media. Justine Sacco is a cautionary tale.
THE RIGHT TO BE OFFENDED
To have your own opinion is definitely within your rights as defined by the United States constitution. To react to that opinion is also within the right of a person but it’s the nature of your reaction that holds the key.
Modern psychology suggests that if a person does not have good self-esteem, they could easily be offended by everything. That feeling of inferiority makes it seem as though everyone is pointing out how inferior you are. Whether or not you’re offended by something, in large part, depends on how you feel about yourself.
How rigid are you in your thoughts? Can you be swayed to see the other side? If not, your chances of being offended by someone who doesn’t see things the way you do are high. Criticism of your beliefs just adds fuel to your fire.
Ego can make a person paranoid, thinking everyone is pointing fingers or talking about you. It tends to set people back on their heels and find offense in everything.
HOW NOT TO BE OFFENDED
What happens if you find yourself always on the side of being offended? You turn on the TV and you can’t watch, it offends. You are talking with a co-worker and just the sight of them offends. You turn on the radio and now it’s THAT song, how offensive!
Modern psychology suggest the best course it to simply take a step back. Try to look deeper. Is it truly offensive or are you just annoyed by something you don’t care for? Being annoyed and being offended are certainly two different feelings. So, try to figure that out. Don’t be so quick to judge. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, we don’t have to give in to our base instinct.
Hypersensitivity could occur because you can’t emotionally separate your thoughts and your sense of self-worth. Once you learn that skill, being offended may come to you less and less.
I OFFENDED YOU. NOW WHAT?
Now you are on the wrong (or right?) side of offending. You are the giver instead of the taker. You just dropped a big O-bomb on someone and are either in their crosshairs or you’ve been put in the cone of silence. Your response to their being offended will say a lot.
There are a few options you can take if you find yourself on that side of things. You can go all-in with your comment, telling the person they CAN’T be offended by what you just said. You can rebut the statement letting the person know others don’t find the comment offensive. You can simply walk away from the person and let them stew in their offended nature. You can also choose to give in and feel like crap about what you just said, feeding into the offended person. OR…
Much like those being offended, you can take a step back and truly think about the words that came out of your mouth. How and why was it offensive? Was there a misunderstanding or did you truly speak it the way it was intended? If the person says they are offended, explain why you said what you said. Maybe you need to put it in the context they will better understand.
LIVING IN A TRIGGERED WORLD
Today’s society is on edge. Social media plays well into it. Race, religion, entertainment, it’s all part of what makes us tick. More compassion and empathy could be the answer but who is willing to go down that road? The Get Off My Lawn generation doesn’t understand the offensiveness of life as we see it today. Today’s generation can’t fathom how things don’t offend GOML’ers. It’s a conundrum not easily solved.