Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Have We Become Too Free To Express?

We all have a voice now. For better or for worse. Youtube, blogs, facebook, myspace, reality shows, texting, twitter, skype...pick your poison and your voice will be heard. But in this open realm of endless communication, are we losing sight of what it means to be appropriate? To be civil?

In the last week we saw a televised freak-out by Serena Williams, South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson screaming "You lie!" to President Obama during his address to Congress, and of course Kanye West bombarding Taylor Swift's acceptance speech to profess his love of Beyonce's talent. At what point during her acceptance speech, for winning best female video, did he think he had the right to be on stage? In his mad need to be the center of attention he entered into a world of oblivion centered on himself. 

And these are just the celebs. Last week I witnessed a man demanding a lower price of gasoline to the poor gas station attendant. He felt it was his right to a lower gas-per-gallon price, considering he saw a lower price posted in his neighborhood. When did a gas station become a flea market? Last time I checked every price wasn't up for negotiation, and more importantly, a gas station attendant does not have the autonomous power to negotiate price of goods.

Just because we have the availability to speak our mind in every outlet possible doesn't mean appropriateness flies out the window. I realize free speech is what makes America so great, but I think this was conceived in the idea that people posses a bit of a civil filtration system. Perhaps with all this access to blabbing our mouths off we need to add mandatory manners training?

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