Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Keep Calm and Carry On

I'm working on not jumping to wild conclusions and overreacting. Mostly because it is exhausting. For example, the emotional drama I put myself through every time I freak out after going on WebMD when I have a weird ache or pain is worse for my health than anything.
And when I'm at a bar and a random guy starts talking to me, it's probably not accurate to be assuming that he is just planning to mug me.

But I do find it hard to calm my own self down when I live in this world where it seems everyone around us is anxious to escalate every benign situation into epic mass panics.

A great example of this occurred this week at a Target in Australia involving a man, a selfie, a Darth Vader cut out, and a crazed, paranoid woman. 
It shook down like this: A man stopped in the toy section to take a funny selfie with a giant Darth Vader cut out to show his kid. But then a female shopper heard from her kids who were also in the toy aisle about a man, wandering alone in the toy section, with a camera pointed at them. She did what any reasonable person would do and jumped to a crazy conclusion-that he was a child pedophiler. So she took his picture and posted it on the interwebs labeling him as such.
Here is the inflammatory rant she posted along with the picture:
Her post went viral and now this poor Star Wars loving man is receiving death threats and is afraid to leave his house.
This is a good lesson. We do need to calm our tits down. Maybe also stop binge watching brain food for these fears like Law and Order SVU.  
But, here's the thing-I can understand the thought path paved with paranoia this woman was on. And cell phone snap shots can be deceiving. It's hard to tell which of the two lens on cell phones is actually taking the picture. We are all walking around with James Bond spy gadgets. In fact, I have, on more than one occasion, pretended to take a selfie so that really I could surreptitiously take a picture of somebody doing or wearing something ridiculous that I felt I needed to share. And to keep up that ruse, I even pulled a fake selfie face. So, yeah, her fear is not totally unfounded. But, still.....
May the force be with us all as we try to navigate the galaxy of hysteria.

(Also, I'm back and you're welcome!)

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