Gretel Killeen looks at how social media and capitalism have turned humans into whining morons.



A recent article about “the annoyance of family group texting”, got me thinking two things: is there anything else we can possibly whinge about! And is the human species devolving?

Let’s look at the whinge thing first. The following articles, posts and subject matter recently crossed my path: “shaming” a cafe that didn’t put enough Vegemite on the toast that was ordered, “outrage” that a parent asked that birthday gifts for her child be “handmade and inexpensive”, and “disbelief” that “an entire flight was made gross by a guy who died on the plane” because “he should have done it before takeoff!”

What a bunch of dobbing whining spineless amoral morons we have become. And yes, this does lead to my second point…we are definitely devolving as a species.

What ever happened to bravery, boldness, chivalry, generosity, or putting your hand up to say “excuse me, but when you get a moment could I have some more Vegemite for my toast please?”

What kind of lame-arse society have we become as we resort to public platforms to promulgate examples of personal injustices, for which the opportunity to be anywhere near that experience would be considered a luxury for billions around the world? Does your family include you on group texts? (Aren’t you lucky that your family is alive?) Do you have access to toast? (I’m so glad you will eat today.) You can afford a flight and travel where you want? (You have freedom?)

Somehow the historic tussle between the basic human desires of selfishness and selflessness became translated into surrender or malign, both of which can apparently be done perfectly adequately, passively and aggressively, from the luxury of your couch with a bit of Wi-Fi.

What ever happened to be being put on this earth to see what you’re made of rather than making the least effort that you can get away with? And how did it happen that our sense of achievement can now be completely fulfilled by simply undermining the achievements and fulfilment of others?

We want the right to do and have everything but we don’t want to take responsibility for it—work out the problem, find the solution, confront it and deal with it.

They used to call that malicious gossip. Now, with technology giving us access to more platforms than the town crier, it’s seen simply as an unstoppable component of the human condition. But why does the advent of technology mean the descent of humankind, highlighting the bad and not the good in us?

I wonder on what day, in what place, at what precise moment did pulling others down become synonymous with lifting yourself up, and just when did we become the most loathsome of creatures; lazy, entitled and cowardly. We are now so short-sighted that we cannot see beyond our own lifetimes or our own household, and so unimaginative that we cannot fathom the stupidity of our times. If we weren’t so up in arms about everyone else, and actually took an objective look at ourselves, we’d be up in arms about us!

We live in a society where structures encourage us to be weak and small so that we forget our power and become dependent on those very same structures to make us feel secure. For those structures to thrive we need to be encouraged to live in fear; fear that we won’t get another job, that we won’t have enough money when we’re old, that our children will never have their own roofs over their heads. We’re encouraged to compete with one another, when we’re actually on the same team.

So when I read an article about how “family group texting is making us anxious”, my final thought is “Seriously?????” We want the right to do and have everything in this life but we don’t want to take responsibility for it—work out what the problem is, find the solution, confront it and deal with it. And on the way maybe we should toughen up, sweethearts (and I include myself in this).

Let’s work out the difference between a mountain and a molehill and whether we’re going to jump over or climb it. ‘Cause if we really want to make the most of life we need to stop sitting on the sidelines whinging and bitching, “Bloody hell, did you check out that hill…OMG, what a mole!”


Gretel Killeen is a writer and performer and the host of the Handsome and Gretel podcast.
Facebook: Gretel Killeen Official.
Insta & twitter: @gretelkilleen.



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