Virtual Social Identity and The “Blase attitude” post #5

Virtual social identity is the category we place people when we meet them based on appearances.    Our actions with strangers are so driven by our perception on people that we tend to forget that at the end of the day we are all equal.  In big cities such as NY and many others around the world, we adopt the “blasé attitude” in order to protect our emotions and avoid becoming overwhelmed by the fast paste life around us.  But when is this “blasé attitude” not so “blasé”?  Let’s suppose you are rushing to school or work and on your way you encounter, what looks like an “ordinary” person, perhaps with worn down clothes, lying on the sidewalk asking for help. Would you automatically assume this is a homeless person and ignore him/her and go on about your day? I would guess most of us would probably adopt this “blasé attitude” and ignore this person who we have already categorized or labeled as “homeless”.

Consider the same scenario, this time however, with a suited up man who looks like he could very well be a CEO or some top executive, would you pass him by and ignore him? My guess would be perhaps not.  How much of our actions are driven by appearances?  Are we willing to help strangers on the street based on what they look like and who we think they are?  Unfortunately, most of the time and most of us do.   Is it fair? What if this happened to you? Would you want help from others even if you didn’t look like a CEO of a top company?

I came across this very interesting video that shows the scenario I just described only that I don’t agree on that one simple action will change the world, it’s not enough.  We need to start by educating ourselves and children on equality, only when we learn this concept will the world be a better place.


4 responses to “Virtual Social Identity and The “Blase attitude” post #5

  1. Sometimes adopting the blase attitude is natural if you live in NYC or any fast pace city. There is too much going on every second of the day to be aware and conscious of it all. Many things do affect this idea, like you explained how we judge others from just one look at them, or maybe a person can have to much going on in there life that they just block out everything else. I think there is a positive and negative outlook about having the blase attitude. Ignoring everything can keep you out of important events that can affect you, however, too much focus on everything can overwhelm you and you can lose control.

  2. It is sad that something as coming to a stranger’s aid if they are in some sort of trouble can be affected just by their appearance. The part where there was a video clip of a women collapsing in a waiting room and no one attempted to help her is just mind-blowing. Just because she may have been a regular patient does not mean she shouldn’t get the same treatment as if there were a women dressed professionally who collapsed the same room. There is an inequality in how you get treated just by the way you’re dressed. People will stop for someone who they think is in a higher class than someone in a lower class. If anyone should need help, everyone around should come to their aid no matter their class level.

  3. I definitely agree that our “blasé attitude ” tends us to ignore the more And many important factors of life. It is true if we see a person who looks like they are homeless in the street we are prone to just keep walking and ignore that person. That person could actually need our help and it could be something that we found easily assist them in. When we see someone who is dressed up nice abs approaches us in the street we will most likely stop because we believe that they are high in power. It is sad to say that we are so quick to judge and categorize someone because of the way they are dressed. We could see someone with an expensive item and automatically we assume that they are wealthy. I agree with you , I do believe that we should educate ourselves and children in learning that everyone is equal. No one should be judged because of the way they look or who they may seem to be.

  4. Well I would said this is less about “blase attitude” and more about stigma. People think he is homeless because of the stigma symbols (his clothes), with the second guy they think he is someone important because of the clothes he was wearing, a prestige symbol. People choose to help one and not the other because of their virtual social identity.

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