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Mob Mentality

mob-mentality

We’ve all heard of the mob mentality, where opinions and ideas of individual people are influenced by that of a larger group ( hence, the mob. ) This can occur in many ways, there is a mob mentality when it comes to sports, particularly in football / soccer ( I’m certain the same applies likewise to American Football and NHL ) where people worship teams to the point of obsession, sometimes even going as far as violence because of it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the vast majority of supporters are good people, it’s the small few that mess everything else up for everyone and give them a bad name. That is a bad example of the mob mentality. Unfortunately, all my experience of the mob mentality is negative, giving me the impression that it really is a bad thing.

For one thing, you are selling out on your individuality and becoming part of the Borg collective by subscribing to the mob mentality. Yes, I know it’s hard to resist, especially when seems like everyone else is doing it and / or it seems like it’s the cool thing to do. Hell, I’ve being through that conflict as well in the past when I choose to not smoke or drink in Secondary School ( I didn’t drink until I was 21 ) and saw what seemed like to be EVERYONE ELSE doing either one or both of these things. Felt horrible, I may tell you but I got over it and figured I really shouldn’t care and just my own thing, my own way.

Looking at the fighting game scene that I’m a part of, there is a very clear and blatant example of mob mentality from this year that I got caught up in. Back in February, Capcom released a new fighting game called Street Fighter X Tekken. The game was clearly rushed, suffered from numerous bugs and worst of all, there was a massive DLC fiasco around launch time involving locked characters that people would have to pay for and wouldn’t be released until October ( this was later changed to July. ) All this combined to create one hell of angry mob, which I got sucked into myself and became rather passionate about hating the game.

SFXT Logo

‘ Hate! Hate! Hate! Rah, it’s cool to hate this! Look at me roar! ‘ Actually, it’s not really that bad and doesn’t deserve all the hate. Except Zangief, he can go die in a fire.

Until the end of the summer, when I decided to give the game another chance. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some serious flaws but I found it fun, in spite of it’s flaws, it was fun. I changed my mind about the game, stopped hating on it and realized that I had foolishly fallen into the trap of hating the game because it seemed like everyone else did. In short, I had being a victim of mob mentality.

Following that, reading comments on news articles relating to the game became a sickening experience. With people frankly shitting on the game just for the sake of it, even when Capcom announced they were actively trying to fix things to make it a better, more solid game with a free update in December. They screamed for them to fix the game and kept on screaming when Capcom said they were fixing it!

I haven’t being this sickened by the mob mentality in a long time but I guess the only reason I even am sickened by it is because I was for a while, apart of this mob. Only I eventually saw through it for what is and was now aware of it. So, what I have taken away from this is the need for awareness of things. Awareness helps in these sort of things, to see through the mob and be able to come to your own conclusions about things rather than letting the mob do that for you.

At least that is my view on things, being a bit of an eye opener and made me a bit more humble, me thinks.

Squandering Potential

Recently, I encountered someone I knew from school. I hadn’t seen this person in quite some time. We both had our things to do which meant we never met up. Fine by me, I have my own things to do, be it college, working on toastmasters speeches or planning my trip to Australia. I guess we just drifted apart. It happens, so they say.

However, one thing occurred that was pretty saddening in my viewpoint. I recently saw this person staggering out of a bar in town, looking like hell. The thing was, this wasn’t the weekend, it was a Tuesday evening.

Now, where I’m from, unless it’s St Patrick’s Day, going out getting that drunk on a Tuesday evening is kind of alarming ( even given the drink culture in Ireland! ) What saddened me is the fact this person seems to have lost sight of thier pontential and have instead settled for a life of mediocracy. A type of souless life that I suspect that drinking is used to escape. I weep for thier offspring.

The point of my story is that is a classic example of someone losing sight of thier potential. These are the same people who spend thier whole lives living in the same town, going to the same places on holidays. They have given up. What happened to the teenager I remember!? They were hyper and energetic! This betrays that person I knew.

I am left wondering why do people fall in this trap. Is it because of circumstances being too much? Maybe it is their idea of ‘ growing up, ‘ one where they discard everything that made them unique and become a part of the borg collective. Maybe people feel this is the only way that they’ll become ‘ normal. ‘ Who knows, it happens and I find it depressing.

The fact that I’m aware of the fact this happens is probably a good thing. I made a promise to myself a long time ago that no matter what, I would NOT become this. It’s being hard, I know that if I stay put, I’ll never reach my potential, which is probably why I’ve got such itchy feet to travel. I’ve learned more about what makes me tick in say, 5 days of travel than in 5 months, for example. I guess I need to be put into situations where I have to 100% depend on myself in order for me to achieve my pontential.

That is just me, though. For other people, it could be different. They use thier circumstances as a motivator to achieve their potential. Some people get dealt some serious amounts of lemons in life. Yet, there are able to overcome these obstables and still achieve their potential ( case in point, the people who compete in the Paralymics. ) Yeah, now that is what I call making Lemonade! 😀

So as the saying goes, if life gives you Lemons, make Lemonade. Given my recent setbacks, it’s something I need to remember as well. Remember your potential, hold onto it for dear life. Fight for it and never, ever let go of it.