Wherever we go, there are social norms and expectations being jammed down our throats.
The people around us, all exposed to similar media messages and massive, powerful institutions, internalize these norms and police each other without even realizing it.
These constructs are so plentiful and subtle that they can be hard to even notice.
But once in awhile we take a step back. We zoom out. Then we see just how arbitrary and one-dimensional so many of those norms are.
Those epiphanies can be disorienting, but so empowering, too. A recent thread on Reddit asked people to share their biggest gripes about all the things forced on us.
Redditor Snoo79382 asked:
"What should society stop forcing on us?"
The internet, as it has many facets of modern life, has accelerated the rate at which things are jammed down our throats. Not a day goes by that we're not on the hook for one thing or another.
"Subscription based services. Everybody out here wants your money now on a monthly schedule."
"The need to create an account for EVERY website or software. Wtf, I just want to install my graphics drivers! There's no reason for you to know who I am, you already have many thousands of my monies."
Others discussed work and work culture. It's such a large portion of our lives, and, according to these folks, the whole thing can be handled better.
Resist the Urge to Monetize
"The idea of hobbies becoming 'side hustles.' Why can't a hobby just be a hobby" -- Electrical-Mammoth44
"Like my father always said: Don't turn your hobby into your work, because you'll have to find a new hobby." -- JustAGuy401
"Having to constantly be busy and only have 2 days to recover from it." -- Octo-Fishy
"I find the whole 5 days a week on, 2 off thing pretty infuriating. I work a 9-5 and would easily be done everything in way less time but I am required to drag it out for no reason." -- condor1111800
Passing the Buck
"Donating your vacation time to coworkers because the company you work for is shi**y. There was a natural disaster and one of the stores in the chain I worked for got flooded."
"Instead of just giving people time off because they literally couldn't work they asked everyone to give up the few paid days off we got a year. Most of us got less than a week off a year."
And others talked about the social expectations pushed on us by our friends, family members, acquaintances, and everything in between.
Aren't There Plenty Already?
"Well no one is forcing anyone, but everyone assumes you want from have kids. And if you don't everyone has a lot of questions and they start judging and trying to change your mind."
Things That Are Normal Where You Live But Crazy Anywhere Else | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
Take Your Time
"The idea that people should have their sh*t together and their life planned out at the age of 20. I'm 19 and still wanna play my pokemon games and the future scares me :')"
"The belief that you HAVE to date, have sex, and get married. Some of us don't want to do any of that and there's nothing wrong with it. I'm sick of the social pressure to date."
Racing Against Fantasy
"There should be laws about how heavily photoshopped pictures are meant to be to sell anything beauty related."
"Being constantly surrounded by images of perfection is seriously damaging to people's mental health, and the implication that a product will make you look Like This is simply false advertising when the model doesn't actually look Like This and has been heavily airbrushed at the very least."
And so, taking a cue from these Redditors, it's a good time to remember that we don't have to cave to any of this stuff if we don't want to.
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When I was a kid, I would occasionally watch this show called Big Bag. It went off the air more than 20 years ago and it seemed to only play at five or six in the morning. If I happened to wake up early, I'd catch it. It was targeted toward preschool viewers and was fun and silly, a partnership between Cartoon Network and what is now the Sesame Workshop.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who remembers it existed. But I'm not the only one with this kind of dilemma.
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor LegitimateMangoHeir asked the online community,
"What's a show from your childhood that no one else seems to remember?"
Sagwa The Chinese Siamese Cat (2001)
"I thought Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat was a fever dream for so long."
Probably because it only had a single season! Might as well have vanished off the face of the earth after that.
"Hamtaro. For the LONGEST time I distinctly remembered watching the show but couldn't remember what it was called or anything else. I remember having a revelation in middle school and going "IT'S REAL???"
It certainly was real! And it was quite possibly the cutest thing to ever be broadcast on our television screens.
"There's a specific age group that really enjoyed Gargoyles."
Hi, it's me. I'm the age-group. There are dozens of us!
Mummies Alive! (1997)
"Mummies Alive! That and Gargoyles were my favourites to watch after school."
Another one that aired for a single season, it was part of a general trend of "mummymania" in 1990s pop culture.
Out of the Box (1998)
"Out of the Box. So long, farewell, to you my friends."
This one had a good run. That theme song is now in my head.
Count Duckula (1988)
"Count Duckula. The best damn cartoon ever!"
I hadn’t heard that theme song in decades and I was just transported back to my childhood room.
Maggie and the Ferocious Beast (2000)
"Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. Great googly moogly!"
O Canada! This one was cute!
Stick Stickly from "Nick in the Afternoon" (1994)
"Anyone remember Stick Stickley on Nickelodeon? I even remember the jingle but everyone I talk to looks at me crazy!"
Write to me, Stick Stickley, PO BOX 963, New York City, New York State, 10108!
The Angry Beavers (1997)
"The Angry Beavers. People look at me like I’m a psycho when I mention it."
This one — along with CatDog — was super popular!
2 Stupid Dogs (1993)
"2 Stupid Dogs. Well, ain't that cute. But it's wrong!"
I quote that line at least once a day. I loved that show.
You should probably run to YouTube and take a trip down memory lane. Thankfully, many of these are available in some capacity for you to enjoy!
Have some shows you love that you'd like to mention? Tell us more in the comments below!
You know what would be great?
If "family influencers" didn't exist. I don't know what people get out of watching people do their shopping and raise their kids, but it sounds boring as hell. Oh, and did I mention that the children have pretty much no privacy from the moment they're born? Yeah... that'll be a treat for them to comprehend when they're older.
But there are a host of other things out there that are just as annoying. People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor RAZOR314 asked the online community,
"What modern trend do you absolutely hate?"
"News agencies writing articles..."
"News agencies writing articles about "all these people are saying X" when it's just a few random people on Twitter, and generally the trend of amplifying fringe theories, beliefs, conspiracies, etc."
I think one of the unfortunate developments in the modern media landscape is the obsession with Twitter. I think it really exacerbates some current issues of representation in the media.
"I hate these videos..."
"I hate those videos with a split screen and something interesting is happening on one half, while an 'influencer' is literally just watching on the other half."
"I do not give a single f*ck about the influencer. I just want to see the thing on the other side. You know, the thing worth reacting to."
So true. They can't create worthwhile content so they "react" to the worthwhile content.
"People recording when they should be helping."
Sometimes recording does help — look at all the instances of police brutality that have made national headlines — but it's not when people are recording for likes, views, clout etc.
"The abundance of unskippable ads on videos. I 100% guarantee I will actively try to not buy your product if you're interrupting what little precious time I have to watch something."
Yes, it makes me so angry. Stop wasting my time. I will click out of something so fast.
"Corporations buying single family homes and turning them into rentals."
And people wonder why there's a housing crisis.
"All controls in a car being through a touch screen."
"For driving safety I wanna keep my eyes on the road, and want to find controls (like window wipers, radio by touch. With a touch screen, I have to look to see if I am touching the right place on the screen for the control I want."
Yes! It's an unnecessary design change, honestly more trouble than it's worth.
"The fact that EVERYTHING is a f*cking ad."
There are many ways to get around that and you can learn about it in my new book How to get rid of ads (free with your Amazon Audible trial).
"Subscription services. Everything nowadays is being turned into a monthly bill."
It's awful. And everything is so expensive. Why bother having all these subscriptions in the first place, right?
"The abundance of people trying to be influencers/streamers, while the majority of them are about as interesting as a boil."
To be honest, most people would rather watch the boil.
We live in a pretty cool world. It'd just be better if most of this stuff didn't exist.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
TV audiences cheer when the terrorist or psycho-killer in their favorite shows gets killed off.
The offing of nefarious characters provides closure and brings us viewers a sense of relief in knowing that justice prevailed.
But sometimes, the characters we've grown to love meet their untimely demise, and it can be devastating to witness after viewers have established a connection to the characters they've grown attached to throughout numerous seasons of a beloved show.
Strangers online recalled the times they mourned the loss of a character as if they've personally known them when Redditor Mysticalmadss asked:
"What is the saddest TV show death of all time?"
Warning: spoilers abound.
Long-running series go through the process of "cleaning house," so to speak, a necessary evil in an attempt to keep the show fresh for loyal viewers and in the hopes of attracting new ones.
It's all heartbreaking just the same.
"The transplant patient deaths in Scrubs. The hospital finally got organs (from one donor) for all the people on the transplant list, but they discovered the donor had rabies too late, by that time, all the recipient of the donated organs started dying off and John C. McGinley (who played Dr. Cox) was really emotional in that moment as he tried his damnest to save the transplant patients."
British Historical TV
"Not shown on screen exactly, but the ending of the 4th series of Blackadder where all the shenanigans suddenly come to a stop and nearly all the main cast get sent over the top to die in No Man's Land."
"The rest of the series is the usual Blackadder humour, some of it touching or morbid at times, but it's like it's just at the end when you remember where they are and the insane amount of death, fear and misery surrounding them. A really effective ending."
A Shocking But Understandable Character Exit
"Adriana in the Sopranos, she just loved her boyfriend and shiny things but was doomed and way in over her head from the start."
Narrowing It Down
"Fry's dog in Futurama"
"Hank in Breaking Bad"
"Opie in Sons of Anarchy."
The impact from the death of an individual can be more devastating if they are a parent, child or the elderly.
"Buffy's mom. 'The Body.'"
"I always love the way the scene plays out because when Buffy first comes in she doesn't realize and is just telling her mom why she's upset before she realizes that her mom isn't answering. When she says 'mommy?' after realizing something's not right I break."
Educating Children About Death
"Mr Hooper from Sesame Street. I was in pre-k"
"If you want to ugly cry about Sesame Street like I did then go watch 'Street Gang' on HBO. It's a documentary about the founding of Sesame Street/Children's Television Workshop. It is fascinating."
"Anyway, you get a big discussion of Mr. Hooper's death with the footage from the show which still guts me to this day, because it is such a moving representation of how young children view death."
"But that's not all! You also get Big Bird/Carol Spinney singing 'It's Not Easy Being Green' at Jim Henson's funeral (which also destroys me). And then you get to see some very melancholy interviews with a very aged but still delightful Carol recorded just before his death (which was about a year before this was released)."
The Mother Who Couldn't Take It
"On the M*A*S*H finale, when the woman killed her baby because it wouldn't stop crying."
Tragedy In The First Season
"Sybil in Downton Abbey. So sad and pointless."
"Dr. Wilson, House MD... Even though I guess that's technically a presumed death."
Let's take a look at some more honorable mentions.
A Grievous Error
"When Bubbles gave that kid a hot shot on accident on The Wire. It eventually led him to getting his life half way in order but it was absolutely devastating to watch that episode."
"Sun and Jin on Lost."
Twisting The Knife
"Lots of great answers, but I still have to go with Leo McGarry’s death in The West Wing. Dying right before being told they’d won was bad enough, but the fact that it was written in due to John Spencer’s death was just last kick in the nuts."
The most devastating TV show death was each major character in Six Feet Under.
Every episode in the brilliant series about our mortality started with a prologue of incidental characters meeting their demise that brings them to Fisher & Sons Funeral Home.
In what is considered to be one of the greatest TV series finales ever, we got to say goodbye to each major character in a series of flash-forwards in an emotional montage.
I ugly cried then, and the poignant manner in which we parted ways with all the memorable characters in the show still haunts me to this day.
Finding the right pajamas can be a fairly stressful ordeal.
Which is perhaps why some people choose to forgo pajamas all together, and sleep in the nude.
No doubt saving people hundreds of dollars on what they might otherwise have spent on a pair of pajamas.
But in addition to being economical, people no doubt have countless reasons for their natural choice of sleepwear.
Or lack thereof.
Redditor -TheMidpoint- was curious to hear why people opted to sleep in the buff, leading them to ask:
"People who sleep naked, why?"
Because I can!
"Zero restrictions while sleeping means better sleep."
"I have learned to hang a robe by the bedroom door..."- IssaScott
"I sleep better when my body is a bit cool."
"I hate having to wear clothes by day, so by night its a relief!"- Draculamb
'I have to wear clothes all day, f*ck having to wearing them in bed."- Purple-Homework764Lets Go Undress GIF by PaxerosGiphy
Built in security system
"Wouldn't you be scared if you were a robber and saw a naked man running at you with a frying pan?"- makz_ammo
Read into it as you will...
"Same reason I shower naked, so I don't get my clothes wet."- dmack080288
This could have two meanings...
'It's f*ckin hot."- KulladarFan Reaction GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Not just at bedtime...
"It stops people from sitting next to me on the train."- bujler
"When else does my genitals gets to see sunlight."- sex_chef
To get a head start on the day.
"In the morning I don’t feel like taking off clothes to get into the shower so i just sleep naked."- Zoie10135Relaxing Homer Simpson GIFGiphy
It just feels so good...
"because it's way more comfortable and I won't feel every single crease in the clothing and it won't bunch up."- everyonesBF
The most important factor when it comes to sleepwear is comfort.
Which, for many people means ditching sleeping attire all together.
And let's face it, there are few better feelings than that of the sheets against your skin.
Well, maybe one or two things, which also involve a lack of clothing...