Thursday, September 18, 2014

The "Don't Walk" Followers Concept

It's odd to start a blog like this, but let's start with a picture:

So what do you think of when you see this photo? Perhaps, "stop," or "don't walk" were the first to come to your mind. Here's another question: How often have you ignored this sign. You know, you look both ways and no traffic is coming so you go. Maybe you have, maybe you haven't, but whatever the case may be the law, at least here in America, states that pedestrians must follow these signs or, should one venture out whilst this sign is on, one would be considered to be jaywalking.

Why the lesson in jaywalking? I've observed an interesting dynamic in city areas and this sign. Typically, from observing, a person, or two, or maybe even three will be waiting because the orange hand is saying to and another person will reach the intersection. This person may be in a hurry, or may not like to wait, so they'll go past the people waiting and will look and see no traffic going and make the crossing. At this point in time those that were waiting, and following the rules, will more often than not ignore the sign and cross.

How does this dynamic have to do with anything? Ever since I wrote my Target: Autism post (which if you haven't read it you should!) it's been bothering me as to why it appears as if the incidences of people on the autism spectrum being abused, or having a prank pulled on them, is increasing at a staggering rate. Maybe it's just because the news and Facebook news feeds are reporting it. Then again, perhaps it is going up and if this is the case I have to wonder why.

In some of the stories I've seen regarding nasty and degrading pranks being pulled it's been more than one person doing it. This means it isn't just one person who might be having a bad day, or had a gigantic lapse in judgment and the disregard of another human being's feelings, rights, and self-esteem but rather a group of people. Going back to the sign, and maybe I'm making this to simple of a comparison, but could it be like the don't walk sign and since one person is doing it that means it's okay? Can people follow just one person where maybe one of the pranksters knows in their heart it is wrong but since the group is going therefore it is right and not something to be ashamed of?

I may be way off base here, but I need to know why this is happening because I don't get it. Quite simply, I do not get it but I hope that there's some logic to what I've put forth because if there is then could it work the other way as well. The other way? Yes, what if, instead of going with the group of pranksters one stands up and says, "NO!"? Who would people follow then?

Of course, I do need to say there is a big difference between those who cross against the light and the ones that abuse and prank. The concept here is that the people who were doing right followed the person who crossed against the light. So too, I wonder, do people follow that easily to someone who comes up with a sinister plan against a person? I have to leave it at that, just a question, because I don't know and maybe people are gullible and will follow one person feels that pulling a demeaning prank is a good idea. Maybe I'm just too naive, but I have to hope that it's this concept because the other is scary. So once again I ask, do people follow that easily? And if so, would they follow someone who stood up and said, "This is wrong!"

1 comment:

  1. I have seen studies where college students have been put in a controlled test where everyone disagrees with their position. A vast majority of students will crumble and go along with the crowd because they are afraid if being different. It kind of reminds me the Nazi death camps. Hopefully with people like you standing up for "This is wrong," a few might do what is right.