Life from an outsider's perspective…

The Irony of Social Inertia.

The Irony of Social Inertia.Consider this: a society is able to perform many tasks, share work, trade labour, food and everything else required to stay alive. A strong, interactive community obviously makes life easier than a loosely bound one. On the other hand, a solitary individual would face a tremendous challenge in facing the same environment alone.

So it could be said that social integrity worked to build united communities in the past, increasing the chances of survival. Hence, the members of a society generally collaborate where possible & do what the majority of its members collectively accept (otherwise there is a revolution, but even then there is a group of individuals involved in the same decision).

I’ve noticed that a general “social inertia” exists in modern society to prevent socially unaccepted ideas from germinating. Consider it a damping of nonconformist wants, possibly perceived as threatening to a conventional society. The internet is a great new medium for voicing opinion about our future direction, but sadly, even this is susceptible to social inertia. This often takes place in many online forums. People who have different views are often bullied for being eccentric, even verbally attacked by the general conservative group.

Unfortunately in this world, uniqueness is still frowned upon. It seems to me that the only commonly seen force which is socially accepted and can easily override the status quo is the fashion movement. Once something becomes considered by everyone to be ‘the new fashion’, only then it is socially accepted, not before. There’s something more to it that that. It’s as is if the new change needs to become fashionable before it is socially accepted.

Without realising it, lacking any sort of plan, the new civilisation we have created is changing very rapidly indeed. We as people need to adapt to this new change, to cope with the new way of life we have created. On the surface, we apparantly look to be doing alright. But dig deeper, and you will see that we are not coping nearly as well as we think we are.

The word ‘adapt’ essentially means “to change”. But I often wonder: can we adapt fast enough to the changes which we ourselves have created so quickly? One thing that I have observed is that the members of any society who request some sort of change are seen as “radical left thinkers” and hence ignored, ridiculed, attacked or outcast by society, all based on the premise of this “social inertia”. So the real irony here is that the very integrity of our current society will probably be its undoing; one of the greatest strengths of modern civilisation will also be one of its greatest weaknesses: reluctance to change.

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