Embarrassing episodes happen everywhere. What makes them bearable is the freely given mocking by those present for the moment. Need examples? Think about the television show America’s Funniest Home Videos. That is the entire premise. The show has been on the air in prime time since 1989. It began with people sending in their VHS tapes. The technology may have evolved, but the content remains stable.
Crotch kicks for guys, bats or clubs to the head for those standing too close, women tripping in wedding dresses, pets playing with toilet paper, and little kids saying inappropriate things they don’t understand and so on are the main threads. In spite of the Internet with YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and other media outlets, the show remains on the air. I don’t understand it. What keeps people tuning in? Oh well.
At least it makes my point. We now have a generation of Americans conditioned to respond to one another’s embarrassing moments with derision. If prepared, we might even catch it on video and upload the failure for the world to see. If lucky, it could go viral. Who could have pondered your face plant into a bowl of potato salad at the summer picnic would be seen and mocked by 1.3 million strangers?
That’s the world we want to live in, right?
Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?