"I Do Believe It's Harmful": 20 Social Norms That People Are Pretty Sick Of At This Point

Sometimes we simply accept things that we really shouldn't. Redditor u/tarokogama recently asked the people of Reddit, "Which widely accepted societal norm do you believe is overrated or harmful, and why are you against it?" Prepare to have your entire outlook changed — maybe:

1."Unsafe driving has been totally normalized in the US. It’s probably the most dangerous activity that 90% of the population participates in daily, and it’s no longer treated with respect or care. Unsafe lane changes, excessive speed, no blinkers, passing on the right, aggressive merging…it puts us all at risk."


Cars on a rainy highway
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2."Monetizing and quantifying everything, even hobbies. It's just so fucking sad."


3."I'd like us to come to grips with our cultural blindspot toward alcohol. When guns and opiates started racking up 30k+ deaths a year, we were talking about words like 'crisis' and 'national conversation' and 'epidemic.' Alcohol kills 140,000 Americans a year."


People clinking plastic cups of beer
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4."Letting kids have cellphones. One of the top five biggest fuck-ups of the last 350 years."


A little boy using a cellphone
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5."Blatant spreading of misinformation, especially by people in power who are supposed to be trustworthy."


6."Not going to the cinema by yourself. If I’m going to sit in silence in a dark room while looking forward, why do I need other people there? It’s not a particularly social activity."


A woman sitting in a movie theater
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7."Everything in the world of business is based on the idea of endless growth, to the detriment of both consumers and any semblance of ethics and self-respect as a business. This started with production and material quality. Make the item as cheap and flimsy as possible so that the consumer will be back buying new versions far more often than they otherwise would. It's found a new level of scummy these days where you're often not able to buy and own something outright. You subscribe to it instead. Or even worse, you subscribe to enable features you've already technically paid for."


8."Individualism. No, you can’t do everything by yourself. How did it get to be such a flex to pretend that you can? Tell me, what did you eat for breakfast today? How did you get to work? Did you raise those chickens yourself that you got the eggs from? Did you refine that gas yourself you put in your car? Did you mine the ore they used to make the steel frame and refine it and blacksmith it into a car frame? No? OK, well, then relax, accept the fact that we’re interdependent, and pay your goddamn taxes."


9."Hustle culture."


A man running to catch the subway
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10."'Oh, giving mom a day off?' 'Is dad babysitting today?' Attitudes like this drive me up the wall. NO, my brother is not babysitting his own kids; he is being a father. He is just as capable as his wife. This harms men by keeping them out of the 'nurturing caregiver' box and teaches boys and young men that men are 'lesser' than women when it comes to doing things with and for their children beyond providing a paycheck. This hurts women because it keeps them confined in the 'caregiver' box and teaches boys and young men that 'women are the authority when it comes to children.' I think it also contributes to the stigma women still face in the workplace regarding taking time off if/when they have kids, since we (unintentionally, perhaps) condition kids — who grow up to be hiring managers — to believe that women are the primary caregivers and are expected to put children first."


A father playing with his baby
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11."The invasion of people's personal lives. I saw a video from the Brittney Spears doc where a member of the paparazzi seemed convinced they were friends. We have a whole industry of professional stalkers, and when someone tries to point out how messed up that it is, others defend it as a price of being a celebrity. Stalking is not inevitable, and should not be treated as such."


12."The expectation of constant availability. It is unhealthy to be glued to your phone 24/7, and it's unreasonable to get pissy if others aren't. Freaking out about being 'left on read' when it hasn't even been 24 hours is absurd. This is the first era in history where people are expected to drop everything to constantly respond to notifications. I do believe it's harmful, and it's depressing to me how many people don't even think to question it."


A man texting while drinking coffee
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13."Not valuing changing one’s mind. Instead we admire those who stick to their beliefs and are consistent over long periods of time."


14."Any type of political view becoming your whole identity. Apply that to the complete lack of willingness for people to listen to each other anymore, and the lack of willingness to empathize with one another, and it creates a giant echo chamber of contempt and disdain across all people across the world — an ever-expanding chasm within modern society. People don't talk anymore. They just shout and point fingers using their own opinions as a blindfold to throw stones at those with a dissimilar viewpoint. First a few do it, then many do it, then everyone does it. It seems to me that this mindset is destroying good society."


15."That children should be banned from public spaces until they are adults. The only way for children to learn how they are supposed to act in public is to be able to BE in public, otherwise you will just end up with jackass 18-year-olds who also don’t know how to act in public."


A baby sipping from a cup while out at a restaurant
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16."The idea of 'big' milestones. It's great to schedule fun events in life, but we end up putting way too much weight on to proms, losing virginity, weddings, etc. People drive themselves crazy trying to have the perfect experience, when life is rarely perfect. Everybody needs to learn to chill out about this stuff. It's not healthy."


17."People having an opinion on everything and expecting everyone else to as well. Like, bugger off, I've got enough going on in my own life to be worried about other people's crap."


18."Working yourself to death so a few scumbags at the top can party it up."


A man looking stressed in front of his laptop
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19."That touching pregnant people without asking is OK. Just because someone is pregnant doesn't mean you're entitled to touch their belly, wtf."


And finally...

20."Sprinkles on donuts. They don't add any flavor and just make a gigantic mess and stain your fingers."


Closeup of a donut with sprinkles
Holly Hildreth / Getty Images

Agree? Disagree? Got your own suggestions? See you in the comments!

These entries have been edited for length and clarity.