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AIBU?

To be sad at how entitled society seems to be becoming?

119 replies

ForestPeace · 13/09/2022 22:16

Mumsnet is a force for good, so I’m not meaning to point at it specifically, though I suppose in some ways the views found here are a reflection of society as a whole. I’m just struck sometimes by how entitled and self-centred society has become. It seems people are so ready to look at how something is affecting them, and don’t seem to see beyond that viewpoint. Some examples might be ‘ I can’t have the bank holiday I want, because of the Royal Family’ ( I’m not talking about people missing medical and other appointments here, but people saying they’re going to ‘trapped indoors’ etc). Other things such as ‘this shop/restaurant did something wrong so I want somebody sacked’. ‘ This friend offended me, so I’m ending the relationship’. I’ve been reflecting recently on the Queen ( though I am not a Royalist), and feeling that somehow our society has lost sight of values like consideration for others, flexibility, compromise, acceptance that things don’t always go well, forgiveness, awareness that we may feel hard done by, but there’s probably someone else worse off, and so on. Of course, it is a generalisation to say society is like this, and hopefully the majority of people still hold these values, but I feel sad to see so much self-centredness and eager to blame creeping in just about everywhere you look it seems sometimes. Wondered if anyone felt like this?

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

391 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
21%
You are NOT being unreasonable
79%
IHeardYa · 14/09/2022 10:19

Ask the native people in the colonies how they feel about British consideration for others.

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MarshaBradyo · 14/09/2022 10:23

Rosewaterblossom · 13/09/2022 22:37

I guess we can blame the internet to some extent and the increase in electronic technology.

Before, people would walk out their front door and probably say hello or have a quick chat with their neighbours who they knew, go to the bus stop and probably see someone in the community they knew. Get on the bus, have to speak to the bus driver and probably exchange a few lines of pleasantries. In town they'd do some shopping, exchange chat with the shop keepers etc. Go to the bank and chat with people there. Pubs/churches/social clubs were filled with locals in communities. People knew people and communities helped eachother.

Now, people walk out their front door, many don't know their neighbours, head phones in at the bus stop, pay contactless on the bus. In town alot of shops have self service checkouts so no need to talk to anyone. Banks aren't how they once were as most is online now. Pubs are on a fast decline because people can't afford to drink out so they buy booze at the supermarket and drink at home. Church/faith on the decline. Communities don't exist or at least aren't the norm. People live in their phones and mainly chat online via social media and order stuff online.

You can literally go about your day without speaking to a single soul which as lovely as that seems some days, I'm sure there must be a link somewhere to this and the decline of people s mental health. It makes social interactions anxiety inducing and makes people only think of themselves so become selfish.

I was thinking recently you don't really so "characters " anymore.. ie: someone with maybe a nickname, a distinct look and an interesting personality. People are on the whole quite generic now and bland.

Whereabouts do you live?

I don’t recognise this and I am in London, it’s a very community based area though - typical for neighbours to know each other, even socialise on that basis, chat to elderly residents as they garden outside front, chat on street, we have street thing coming up, I have the opposite as I rarely go out and not say hello to someone

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midgetastic · 14/09/2022 10:26

justaladyLOL · 14/09/2022 09:31

"shit employers and so on instead of being encouraged to engage in a perpetual race to the bottom in a society where working full time does not pay enough to have a good life"
If you are not happy in your job and think you are not earning enough - GET ANOTHER JOB

Gee never thought of that ! So many good jobs to choose from

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MarshaBradyo · 14/09/2022 10:29

I think some things have become more immediate with technology which is expected but I don’t see much change in rl interactions

I do think recently there has been this idea you can control what others do on here - don’t cheer, watch the funeral, I reckon it stemmed from pandemic where people felt they had more say in others’ lives

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Hyacinth2 · 14/09/2022 10:35

I read that people are more interested in reading things that disagree with their views rather than the same. So it attracts their attention more.

So....... social media, the papers, anyone who wants attention posts something argumentative - so, that's what you see.
Bland how nice comments will be read and passed over whilst the RaaRaaRaa whingefest gets responses - so the world seems full of RAARAARAA when in fact 90% is 'nice and calm'.

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DoingJustFine · 14/09/2022 10:36

somehow our society has lost sight of values like consideration for others, flexibility, compromise, acceptance that things don’t always go well, forgiveness, awareness that we may feel hard done by, but there’s probably someone else worse off, and so on.

I agree! Plus grace, dignity, resilience, manners...

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CandidaAlbicans2 · 14/09/2022 10:38

You are entitled to nothing other than what you do for yourself
I earn enough money thanks
So do my friends some of whom have set up business and are now very wealthy
If you think you are not being paid enough do something about it
Re-train
Get some qualifications
Help yourself
Stop whining and blaming the rest of the world for your problems

@justaladyLOL I do agree to an extent, and I'm very pro personal responsibility, but it's a bit simplistic to say "just retrain", just "get another job" when there are wider factors at play. Take into account lack of transport options depending on location, lack of childcare to allow someone to go to the colleges, etc.

I'm lucky that I was in the position I was that allowed me to get some qualifications, retrain, get a new career. I was also lucky I could afford to learn to drive and run a car as public transport is often poor, so imagine living somewhere where you need a car to tap into other job options/get to the colleges. Just move then? Moving house is expensive so how do people with no money do it? Also think about support networks...

In other words, just because you and your friends have done OK doesn't mean just because others are in a worse position that it's because they just haven't made enough effort/worked hard.

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DoingJustFine · 14/09/2022 10:39

Honestly - and I know this will light the touch-paper - I think things went wrong when families stopped going to church. Church services are built around showing compassion for others' suffering, trying to be a kind and helpful person, and giving thanks for everything you've got.

When I was attending church regularly I definitely spent more time trying to be a decent person. Since I've stopped going I've reverted to my basic, selfish self. 😂

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RudsyFarmer · 14/09/2022 10:40

It’s internet relations seeking into ‘real life’ unfortunately.

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DoingJustFine · 14/09/2022 10:41

If you think you are not being paid enough do something about it
Re-train
Get some qualifications
Help yourself
Stop whining and blaming the rest of the world for your problems


Oops, somehow we all joined hands and summoned Mrs Thatcher.

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PinkArt · 14/09/2022 10:42

Is it entitled or is it a reflection of us having more choice and more options in our lives now. I'm not saying folks aren't entitled, loads are, but it might not be the main factor at play.
Just over 100 years ago if a woman wasn't happy with what the Government did, there was very little she could do. She couldn't vote against them next time.
People were more likely to stay in one town their whole lives so falling out with a friend may have had more day to day impact as you'd be seeing them all of the time. Our lives on the whole are bigger now and people have work friends, hobby friends, uni friends etc. The social impact of moving on from a friendship that isn't working for you is lessened.
Likewise in that town you grew up in, you'd be using the same small selection of shops all the time. Very little you could do if you didn't like Fred the butcher's service if you still wanted to buy meat. But now if you were really unhappy with Tescos now then you could complain with little personal impact and just start going to Morrisons instead.
Isn't it a better thing that we, especially as women, have more choices these days so we have the freedom to walk away from things that are not benefiting our lives.

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thecatsthecats · 14/09/2022 11:13

One of the things that bug me is that WFH is seen as contributing to this, but in my opinion it is not necessarily a consequence.

I go out to work in a cafe once a week, and I meet more people there who are in my role than I would in an office with my colleagues. I go out every day and spend more time in my local neighbourhood. I have more time to give locally, and more money to spend locally, rather than spend that time and money on travelling to and from work.

Relocalisation of services would be a huge benefit to local areas. I grew up near a village that had everything you could imagine - from mechanics, IT service providers, shops, etc. Small village school, a GP. And this was in the nineties, so no WiFi to support all these local services.

It's entirely possible for local communities to reap the benefits of wfh, but big businesses are frightened of that.

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Helgadaley · 14/09/2022 11:20

In the last 10-20 years there has been a massive increase in excusing bad behaviour. If someone behaves terribly then they must have mental health problems

I agree with this. Particularly where children are concerned. No child is ever simply naughty today - they all have a condition that means they 'can't help it.'

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pointythings · 14/09/2022 11:40

I'm a bit on the fence. I think everyone should be polite as a default to everyone else and that includes being polite to staff in food banks. But gratitude? That sounds a bit like 'doff your cap, you pleb, and grovel for your food'. That demand for gratitude is entitled in itself.

As for the 'pull yourself up by the bootstraps, if you aren't rich it's because you're lazy' nonsense, that's just repackaging Thatcherism/the American Dream. Life is more complicated than that and if you really believe this, you're incredibly smug and naive.

Lastly, church? Really? The church that looked down on divorced women and single mothers? The church that stood against equal rights for gay people? That church? No thanks. Religion doesn't make people better. It's perfectly possible to be a decent human being without it. If you revert to being selfish because you've stopped going to church, look in the mirror, give yourself a slap and go back to doing the good things you were doing in your churchgoing days because there's nothing stopping you.

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MangyInseam · 14/09/2022 11:41

ChagSameachDoreen · 14/09/2022 06:24

It's the natural result of turning people into consumers. We are taught to want and acquire endless stuff, told that we are lacking, while those at the top of the pile get richer. No wonder we're angry, disillusioned, entitled.

I think this is true, and also of increasing emphasis on rights over responsibilities. In reality of course the two are linked in an important way but we abstract them and so imagine you can have one without the other.

And as said up-thread, people lacking day to day relationships with real people. That's not some imaginary thing, lots of research has been done and people's relationships and interactions are fewer and record numbers of people report feeling deeply lonely, having no friends, etc.

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Seymour5 · 14/09/2022 11:43

Last week I was waiting in a bus station. Luckily I got a seat at the stop next to the one I wanted, where the seats were all full. I currently use a stick due to a mobility issue, plus I’m over 70 and standing for long periods is difficult. An older, frail looking lady stood beside the seats by the stop she and I both wanted. Not one of the much younger people took any notice. I helped her sit by me, and watched for her bus.

She was a widow in her late 80s, just about managing to be independent. Not so long ago, there would have been an automatic offer of a seat from at least one younger person. I see this replicated on public transport too. Saddens me.

On the other hand, I’m glad that there is recognition and acceptance of learning difficulties and differences, and mental illness. Just a pity they are sometimes misused to excuse a lack of personal responsibility.

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Goldbar · 14/09/2022 11:47

I don't think people feel more 'entitled'. I think many people are more individualistic and selfish, perhaps, but that's a product of the society in which we live where people, however they may feel, are actually 'entitled' to much less than in previous generations...education cut to the bone, high costs for university education, pensions provision hugely reduced, local services reduced, the NHS on its uppers, council housing massively reduced due to sell-offs and many homeless families housed in one room in B&Bs and hostels.

In some ways, the 'entitlement' you identify represents a shift in societal attitudes and the balance of power. People are less deferential to the establishment and to employers nowadays and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

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hattie43 · 14/09/2022 11:50

DoingJustFine · 14/09/2022 10:41

If you think you are not being paid enough do something about it
Re-train
Get some qualifications
Help yourself
Stop whining and blaming the rest of the world for your problems


Oops, somehow we all joined hands and summoned Mrs Thatcher.

You can mock and wallow at the bottom or you can do something about it . Everyone has a choice to make.

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Kissingfrogs25 · 14/09/2022 11:59

Yes I agree op, I see some of this behaviour trickling into real life though.
Acceptance and tolerance are replaced with my way or the highway mentality and as a result you do see some relationships and friendships failing that could have been saved with better communication and an open mind.

The 'fixed' views seem to become entrenched and tribal.
There is good and bad elements with brexit as with most things in life
There is good and bad elements having a monarchy
They are definitely good and bad issues with each political party

No one way of thinking that is the right way

Nothing is black and white in real life - there are shades of grey and silver. The inability to even listen to another point of view kind of terrifies me.
Where will it lead?
It is not healthy.
We do need to relearn to listen to all views, consider all views as valid and to be respected - and yes we have our own opinion but that can change potentially with new information.

I was taught to be tolerant and to not have closed conversations, but there is too much tribalism and shouting these days for any nuance.

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Freedomfighters · 14/09/2022 12:04

DoingJustFine · 14/09/2022 10:39

Honestly - and I know this will light the touch-paper - I think things went wrong when families stopped going to church. Church services are built around showing compassion for others' suffering, trying to be a kind and helpful person, and giving thanks for everything you've got.

When I was attending church regularly I definitely spent more time trying to be a decent person. Since I've stopped going I've reverted to my basic, selfish self. 😂

I think people were generally brought up with Christian values in the UK, and as people have started to shun Christianity they have also shunned, or forgotten about the values that went with it. I think there was generally a view that we didn't need religion in order to behave like decent human beings, but maybe that grounding in childhood was actually important. It hasn't been replaced adequately anyway. I gave up religion as I didn't think it was necessary, but increasingly these days I consider myself to be a cultural Christan, as I can't bring myself to believe in God but I do generally adhere to the values of Christianity.

And of course we have the scourge of social media, whilst brilliant in its own way, also brings the worst of people together, making the combined onslaught of appalling behaviour even worse.

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Obki · 14/09/2022 12:09

I try to be a good neighbour etc but I do get easily disheartened.

My neighbours are friendly people who always say hello. I help them with their garden or bins when I'm doing mine, they never say thank you, but I've noticed that they brought their own bins in and left mine right in the middle of my driveway.

I told my husband I'm not helping them anymore, he says I'm being petty.

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pointythings · 14/09/2022 12:15

consider all views as valid and to be respected

All views? I take issue with that. It's a justification for racism, homophobia and overt sexism. Some views deserve no respect. Drawing that line is complex, but we shouldn't shy away from difficult conversations under the umbrella of 'let's just respect everyone's views'.

@Freedomfighters the positive aspects of Christian behaviour are those which are common to all faiths. Christianity isn't exceptional in that. It is likely that they are innate to humanity, because taking care of one another benefits society as a whole and the survival of the species.

I think you're right about social media - it's so easy to be awful whilst hidden by anonymity. I am not sure there is a solution to that problem that doesn't involve making it worse by introducing censorship.

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antelopevalley · 14/09/2022 12:16

I do not think people are entitled enough. Your average person has had falling wages in real terms for years, now soaring prices and a government that has been absolutely corrupt. We now have a proposal to help those paying higher rate tax and many on here argue this is necessary to encourage them to work.
Meanwhile, many people are struggling to afford to eat.
People need to be more entitled, they deserve better.

The selfishness of the middle class has soared though. The upper class were always selfish, so no change there.

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Moonlightdust · 14/09/2022 12:31

I agree. If the majority of posts on here represent society then that is a deeply depressing notion.

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BiasedBinding · 14/09/2022 12:53

I think most of you are imagining some previous society that didn’t exist

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