Judgmental, Associating, and Polarizing Society

Last weekend, a traffic accident happened in Surabaya. In short, in the morning around 5.20 am, there was a sport car driven by young man hit a food hawker/kiosk in the side of street and caused the kiosk destroyed, one man died, and 2 people injured (broken bones). Some version of the stories said that there was another sport car at that time and they were doing the illegal racing (of course, legal one will be held on racing circuit, right?). This case now is handled by police. The driver and his families already stated their will to be responsible for this accident to the victims. And I won’t comment further on those accident. My final opinion is the driver was wrong, driving carelessly (he stated that the left wheel is suddenly locked, cause him unable to control the car), but he didn’t try to run. His families want to take responsibility. So let the police handle this from now on, regardless of what the final result/punishment will be.

What i want to talk about is, how the reaction in society regarding this case (and also another case). In social media era, there is a significant increasing of number of ‘commentators’ who suddenly become judge in their own social media account. Although they know nothing/a little about an incident, if the incident is ‘hype-ing’, they will also react as if they know everything. They will state their opinion and try to debate those who don’t think the similar way. It’s not the comment that I pay attention. It’s the judgment which I take more seriously.

Some judgment examples based on the above incident are: “Since he is driving this super car, the family is definitely rich. it’s easy for them to buy this case”, “he is from rich family, the police won’t dare to continue this case. This case will be finished using their money”, “The parent is not wise, giving that super car to a young man whose emotion still unstable. He doesn’t deserve that expensive car at the moment”, “Young people nowadays is watching movies too much that they delude they are like fast and furious characters”, “He is spoiled child, who is reckless, irresponsible, act whatever he want, etc”.

So, based on some keywords like “super car”, “driving high speed”, “hit people”, “young driver”, some people has concluded that this young man (and maybe his family) is a bad guy. He will spend some short time in prison, hire a very good lawyer, buy the case with money, shut the victims mouth with wealth, etc. Some also concluded that he is spoiled child who just able to enjoy his life under his parent wealth. But do we know the reality? (*well I don’t. so I am not make any comments regarding this case) Do you think it’s really impossible for 24 years old guy to buy his own super car?

I see this phenomenon as ‘Judgmental Society’, where we easily judge other people just based on several facts. And since this is social media era, the judgment will be like snowball-effect, shared easily to friends and colleagues. Because it’s our friends who shared it, most of us won’t event bother to think logically about it. We believe our friends, so his shared stories/opinions mostly is true (for him/her).

Furthermore, continuing from judgmental society is ‘Associating Society’. After reading/hearing a lot of reckless judgmental and getting used to it, our brain will start to associate it. Try ‘Harley Davidson Driver’, and we will associate it with ‘Arrogant Rich People, Those who don’t want to follow and obey the rules’. Do all of the Harley driver share similar characteristic? Well I’m not sure. But since a lot of them (a lot doesn’t mean all, right?) do that way, our brain forced to make an associative thoughts applied for all drivers. Try ‘Young super car driver’ and we will associate it with “Arrogant, Spoiled-by-parents young people who is reckless, just know how to party, etc”. It’s even happened in religion and race. This religion always bla bla bla. This race always bla bla bla.

This judgmental and associating society is growing further to polarizing. This characteristic, I think (and I read article somewhere about it, but I forgot the main article), was started significantly since the last year presidential election. There were only 2 competing candidates that accidentally polarizing civilians into 2 big group, Pro A and Pro B. If you not Pro A, then you are Pro B. And this kind of thoughts is growing bigger nowadays. If you are not agree with me, than you are agree with my enemy/opponent. Do we only have 2 choices now in everything? Can’t we take neutral or another side?

Living in this kind of society will bring an uncomfortable situation for many of us. We are forced to take a side, although sometimes we are not fit in well in those 2 competing sides (I choose the dark side as my Google themes, by the way. Have you choose your side? :p ). We will starting to live in suspicion live. We are easily judge and associate (of course, also be easily judged and associated by other people) just because the majority said that (and I could say that nowadays, it’s not the right side who will win, but the majority side, like it or not).

I hope this situation will be able to  getting better in the future. We live in such a called democratic country that I believe we have a freedom to make an opinion, to take a different side, to do whatever we want as long we don’t do harm to others and violates social and law requirements.

By the way, *once again, i am not defending this driver*, do you know that almost every day in Surabaya, there are a lot more traffic accidents which also caused a lot of casualties? If you don’t trust me, please do check facebook account of e100. It’s Suara Surabaya official account, one of the most credible radio channel in Surabaya which famous for it’s traffic report. See by yourself how many incidents in road has happened every day. So, if the car was not a super car (let’s say that just ordinary Avanza or Xenia car), would it still be on national headline? Or was it just because it’s a super car that it will bring a lot of attention? Are we judge based on the appearance (super car vs ordinary car) or the substantial things (careless drivers on the road out there caused a lot of casualties)?