Tucker's Tales


Let's Re-Write the Social Norms

Posted by Ally Tucker on January 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Last week on Tucker's Tales, I made some bold predictions for 3 trends that I fear in the upcoming year of 2012. I got to thinking about predictions. Predictions are fun. I mean, who doesn't love when they get to experience that "Aha! I told you so!" moment after a previous prediction comes true? I know that I was very pleased with myself when I predicted that A'dia Mathies would score 34 points last night and hit a last second game-winner against Tennessee. I was also pleased with myself when I predicted that Katy Perry and Russell Brand would break up. I mean no one saw that one coming. 

As great as predictions are, do they necessarily accomplish anything? I tend to think that no, they do not. Instead of simply predicting trends in 2012, I've decided to take things to another level. 

I am going to attempt to make major changes to social norms in 2012. 

Quickly, let's re-visit a few of our most common social norms. 

Tipping your waitress/waiter 20% 

Answering the phone with the greeting "hello."

Hating on the University of Louisville. 

All of the aforementioned social norms are great. They've been around forever. I can certainly get on board with all of them.  The last one in fact is as easy as breathing. But as someone famously once said in a movie, or a book, or in an interview, "the only thing constant is change."

The time has come for some additions to our social norms. I'm not sure how I qualify to be the one to make these changes, but hey, how does Kris Humphries qualify as a human and not a robot?

Let's start with our vocabulary norms. There are certain words that have been deemed "taboo" socially. Curse words, for example, are avoided in certain situations because they are inappropriate or offensive. To be honest, curse words just aren't that offensive to me anymore. I would love to replace a few of the words on the "curse word" list with some new ones that I find offensive:

1) "Winning" -- I've alluded to it once before here on Tucker's Tales, but can we all please, please, please agree to stop saying this word in that obnoxious tone after we do something that we think is cool? Charlie Sheen's new found fame lasted for about a month. Why oh why has this catchword (is that a word?) continued to last?

2) "Swag/Swagger"--  Swagger stopped being swagger when my 91 year old  Grandpa used it to describe his pony tail. Enough said. 

3) "Honey Badger"-- No, I haven't watched the YouTube video. I've heard just enough about it to believe that it sounds completely idiotic. I'm not sure how or why LSU's uber-talented football player (no, I don't know his name...because I've never heard anyone use it) took on this nickname. I'm sure it started out as a nickname among teammates or perhaps local media in Louisiana. Nickname's are fun and occasionally referring to a player by that nickname during the course of daily conversation, or even further, during the course of a nationally televised broadcast is one thing. ONLY REFERRING TO A PLAYER BY HIS OR HER NICKNAME DURING THE ENTIRE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, especially when you are a broadcaster in your late 40's/early 50's is flat out mind-boggling. Why was that okay? I'm serious. I'm so bothered. Does that kid not have a name? The nickname wasn't a play off of his name either. Why was he never called by his real name? I'm so angry. The next person to say Honey Badger in my presence will get a swift kick to the aorta. Try me. 

4) "Epic Fail" -- The first few times I heard this phrase used, especially when paired with a really funny
picture of someone being unsuccessful at something, I laughed. I never really jumped on the train though. As with anything, the phrase quickly became overused. Words like epic used to hold value. Words like epic used to be reserved for things/people/performances that were in a category with very few other things/people/performances. When epic is tagged with a picture of someone tripping up a flight of stairs, the things that actually are epic, lose all value. The word holds no weight anymore. Everyone has tripped up the stairs a time or two. If you are sitting here reading this and saying "I haven't," you are an epic liar. There's nothing epic about falling up a flight of stairs. Thanks for ruining a cool word, world. (Tongue twister)

So, now that we have officially put all of those words into the category of curse words, it's time to move on to changing another social norm.  

Let's make it a social norm that people cannot leave Voicemails that simply say "this is _(insert name of caller)____. Call me back."

I really dislike Voicemails. The reasons are threefold....

First, like the picture says, the icon in the corner of my phone irritates me. I have to check it as soon as I can so that icon will go away. My main problem though is that I am a bit of a technology hoarder. I don't delete text messages. I don't delete contacts. If I get a nice or funny voicemail or one that I worry I might need information from at a later point in time, I save it. At the time, it seems like a great idea. When I get a new Voicemail though, and 1 out of every 3 times I try to check it I have to go through and re-save every other old message before I can even get to the new one,  I want to scream. 

That brings me to my second point. If you are going to call someone and leave a voicemail that says (and I would say that 90% of voicemails say exactly this, and only this) "Hey this is ______. Call me back" let me save you the trouble--DON'T LEAVE A VOICEMAIL. It took me 5 minutes just to listen to your voicemail and by the time I heard it, I knew everything that I knew by the fact that you called me. We all have cell phones. Cell phones have caller ID. I know who you are. If you called me, I'm going to assume that you want me to call you back. Got it. Check. No need to hear all of that verbally. Say something of substance or send me a text. 

And finally, to my last point-- actually, I don't have a last point. I just really enjoy the phrase "the reasons are threefold" and wanted to use it. Carry on...

Can we find a way to make it so socially unacceptable to ask for a "Retweet" from someone that
people just stop doing it all together?

Honestly, to me, this one feels like a social norm to me already. I would feel way too uncomfortable and embarrassed to shamefully ask someone for a Retweet. I don't understand why people do it. I understand the logic behind trying to get someone who has more followers than you to send out something that you say, or a link to something you've created (i.e. I send Mary Jo Perino links to Tucker's Tales on the reg). That concept makes sense to me: wanting more people to see something that you've said or created/getting a new audience.  What I'm trying to eliminate is just sending a tweet to someone (usually a famous someone) and saying "Hey!! Can I get a retweet?" What's the point? You're not saying anything!

I think famous people on Twitter only promote this shameless activity when they actually do retweet people who ask for retweets. Why encourage this pointless activity? Does anyone ever see a retweet by a celebrity that they follow of a random person saying "hey can I get a retweet" and immediately think to themselves  I NEED TO FOLLOW THAT PERSON? No. No one ever sees a retweet and thinks that. Ever. The only thing that I think is, "I bet that person has those family member bumper stickers on the back of their car."

(Real picture from a real car that I saw in a real parking lot. Please don't say "epic fail" when you see this)

Okay guys...I honestly have a list of about 8-10 other social norms that I would like to change. I have a lot of ideas about things that should probably become socially unacceptable, and the sooner the better. I think I've ranted enough for one blog entry, so perhaps I will write another one tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Let's change the world we live in, Tucker's Tales readers/people who accidentally search for something else and find us!

Categories: Ally's Blog Entries, Advice + Lexington's Best Kept Secrets

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Reply Cole
11:50 AM on January 13, 2012 
1. My aunt uses "WINNING!" as part of her Facebook status at least once a week. And somehow, I find a nearly 60-year old, realtor who is trying to get people to come look at the new bungalow home for sale on Main Street borrowing catchphrases from Charlie Sheen hilarious. So I'm not ready to put that entirely to bed, yet.
2. Could people please start using entire words? That thing you posted on Pinterest is not "gorg." It is gorgeous. People who speak like that are ridiculous, not "ridic." I stopped speaking to people between the ages of 10-20 when I realized at least 2/3 of them would call their parents "the 'rents" from time to time. It makes my skin crawl.
Reply Richmond Bramblet
11:58 AM on January 13, 2012 
I tweeted about this the other day... but in my office, I was shutting down people left and right when they were saying "Swag" or "Schwag" and "Winning"

And I saw this car (I'm pretty sure I saw it in person, not on the internet but I could be wrong) of the stick figures on the back of the car, but the mom was gone and the dad had written above the empty spot "Position available, seeking applicants"
Reply Ally Tucker
3:02 PM on January 13, 2012 
Cole....good call on the shortening of words. I will probs add that in the next blog ent I do bout soc norms.

Richmond-- I wish you had taken a picture of that car's bumper stickers.