For this edition of Think Tank, we asked the Paul Smith’s community for their thoughts on people being “easily offended”. The question was initially prompted by the backlash toward the Christmas song “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. Here’s what you all had to say about the subject:

I usually do not have a strong opinion on the Think Tank topics, as I consider myself to be one who “lives under a rock.” However, I do have an opinion on this topic.

I believe people are definitely more easily offended today than in the past. Although, I think that social media has really exacerbated this issue and that we are more exposed to persuasion from others’ feelings being made public.

I find it much easier to relate to, and communicate with, individuals much older than myself simply because they have senses of humor. They do not think twice about whether a comment or joke is “PC.” This is the way I was raised because my parents adopted the personalities of their parents, grandparents, and other older relatives, and passed those traits on to my brothers and I.

I think people waste way too much time worrying about the connotation of others’ comments and what other people think or say in general. Today people are selfish. They think everything going on in the world is their issue, but this only puts more stress on a population with so many larger problems.

I could write pages on this, but in short: I think the world would be a happier place if we just remembered that when we react to hurtful comments, we are only providing satisfaction to the person speaking. Instead, we should ignore these and focus our attention on loving ourselves, those who love us, and our planet.

-Audrey Emerson

I don’t think it’s oversensitive to be skeptical when the female participant’s line is, “Hey whats in this drink?” It’s not cute and romantic to slip something in a woman’s drink. This is a date rape song. I’ve thought so for over a decade and I’m glad people are finally recognizing it as such.

-Amy Dewitt

I believe that people recently have become more easily offended. Social media has given these people a platform that make it much easier to express their concerns as well. It seems that recently every little thing has a crowd of people looking to express how they take offense and want to remove the offensive material so no one else can enjoy it. Why is it that a minority of people can decide what the rest of the population can do? It doesn’t make sense. I think we should learn to bottle these feelings up instead of making a mountain out of a mole hill.

-River Payne

Well, I have never heard the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, but I know a lot about the latter. People are not more easily offended now, but they are more vocal about it. This all comes from the digital age. People nowadays feel that their opinions matter but they do not at all.  Bob Dylan “offended” a lot of his fans by switching from acoustic to electric, but now that is nothing. All anyone can do nowadays is grin and bear it, and people who do not do this are strange “drama queens” in my eyes. I do not know if this song is rap or not but, music or any other art is opinion based. Therefore if you do not like it, do not listen to it.

-Damon Emerson

I don’t think people are more offended by things now more so than back when the song “Baby it’s Cold Outside” was released. I think people didn’t truly understand the meaning behind the song, and with time people were able to decipher the meaning. There’s always going to be hidden messages in songs and we don’t know when we’ll figure it out. With technology and mainstream media, the world has changed. People can influence things on the other side of the country in a matter of seconds, instead of hours or days. People can use that to lead protest and more people are seeing it. In this country there are more followers than there are leaders. Most of us will go on and not make big changes in our way life. So when people see that someone is leading the charge, they’ll jump in the back.

-William Lord

Thank you all for your responses. You can check out some past editions of Think Tank here:

Think Tank: Lead Ammunition

Think Tank: Hiking Permits

Think Tank: A Troubled Culture


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