When I started student teaching a couple weeks ago, I noticed that memes and Pinterest are the entertainment of choice for students in my classes. I fear this kind of entertainment isn’t as much entertainment, as it is education—and the instructors for this kind of education, shouldn’t be trusted with the task of molding minds, or what-have-you.
Judge Judy, American Idol, sensationalized media, and Instagram are not all that different. They are all textbooks in a large class they’re all taking titled Judgement 101. I’m giving it a class name to suggest that it was preconceived or that it has class objectives. I’m also not suggesting that all who take this class are going to ace it and slide down the slippery path to hell. I just want to point out a few thoughts I’ve had, and hopefully suggest some ways in which we can better the situation.
Capture can be anything. In fact, we’re so obsessed with capture, that we meticulously label everyone we know and everything we do. From tags on Twitter and Instagram, to tags on friends, family, co-workers and even strangers: we love to have an absolute definition for everything we do. Why? So that we can best decide how to judge.
- “Oh, your photo was #nofilter? All judgements must be strictly content based, now.”
- “You’re tweeting that you’re about to see the Hobbit? I’ll file you under #lotrfan.”
- “Own a Martin Guitar? File under guitar player, sub section singer-songwriter.”
The devil you’ve captured versus the devil you haven’t. That’s why get-to-know-you activities are so tough. We’re all so naked, unlabeled, not judge-able!
All of the “must-have” tools in a high schooler’s tool box were recommended by the instructors of Judgement 101. The better the camera on your phone is, the higher chance people will consider your capture to be a fact and consider that fact judge-able. Sites like peopleofwalmart.com and failbook.com thrive because of well placed Judgement 101 classmates with the necessary tool for the job.
Mobile internet increases the speed at which the judgement can be made, and sites like Wikipedia are simply stepping stones toward backing up the evidence presumed by the capture.
Are you setting a good example to those who don’t know how to accurately judge for themselves? Do conversations you have with your peers eventually lead to judgements on people who deserve your affection? When you’re alone, do you compare yourself to others or do you appreciate all that you have been given?
Judgement is where we land to have a good laugh, feel the sensation of a dramatic situation, or experience the thrill of surprise. All usually at the expense of others.
Not all Judgement is bad. Judgement is a motivator, a decision maker, and priority divider. But a hasty judgement is bad. There is a common sense correlation between fast judgements and the incorrectness of those judgements.
I fear for the future, should the great advancements in technology become the downfall of civility, kindness, and humanity. For the aforementioned popular entertainment providers, judgement consumption seems to be the overwhelming use.
Have we given too much power to judge into the hands of the naive? Is the beauty of the advancement flower lost in the stench of the indecent manure you used to fertilize it?