Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Asians in the library, Viral videos, Celebrity Sex-tapes?
Hold it what does any of that stuff got to do with personal development? Stick with me I do have a point to make that will tie it all together. Maybe after reading the rest of this post you can pick up some personal development lessons from it. The reason I started thinking about this was I watched the “Asians in the library” youtube video that an UCLA student named Alexandra Wallace posted. For those who want to watch it you can see it here. Basically it’s her going off on a racist rant hating on Asians. Being an Asian American I actually laughed when I first saw the video, I laughed because I couldn’t really believe how ignorant some people still are, as well as, how stupid some people can be to do something that they probably knew wasn’t going to end well.
We live in a world of instant information. Anything can go viral these days, Alexandra Wallace’s post blew up and had over 5 million view last I checked. Rebecca Black’s terrible music video Friday got over 2 million views in one weekend. I really don’t understand what drives celebrities to take nude photos and make sex tapes unless they really want it to get online. So here is the first point I am trying to make: be smart about what you post, be that on twitter, facebook, youtube, or whatever internet site once it’s online it is going to be there forever. Alexandra probably made the video on purpose to attract the negative attention and gain her 15 minutes of fame but she probably didn’t think how bad the reactions were going to be. Well, the result is that video had changed her life. She issued the following apology the day after:
“Clearly the original video posted by me was inappropriate. I cannot explain what possessed me to approach the subject as I did, and if I could undo it, I would. I'd like to offer my apology to the entire UCLA campus. For those who cannot find it within them to accept my apology, I understand.”
But too little, too late the damage had been done. Even though she removed the original video, it had been reposted countless times. She was a Junior political science major but has since announced she will no longer attend UCLA because of the backlash caused by the video. So no matter how innocent your intentions could be once it’s out there you can’t take back your actions.
I would say that the biggest cause of her actions is ignorance of other people and cultures. This may just be a result of her upbringing. Although the United States has come a long way, if parents don’t set an example for their children then how will they learn? Her father wrote on his Facebook page "My daughter wants to start a blog," and later posted "She's asking for domain suggestions for 'Asians on their cellphones in the library!' She's shooting videos as I write." He had known about his daughter making the video and he supported it. So how much can you really blame the girl when she was brought up that way?
Humans are insecure by nature and when there are things they don’t understand or differs from what they know as their norm they will instinctively label it as wrong. It is always easier to be ego-centric, try to fit in with the crowd, and put down anything that threatens that. It is definitely harder to try and reflect on why there are these differences and understanding why they are the way they are. There is a lot we can learn from other people and other cultures. We can't really improve as people without stepping out of our comfort zones and really exploring what may not initially feel natural to us.