I feel like this whole Shaun White disrespecting the flag business is ridiculous. Next time any one of us wins our third Gold Medal in the Olympics after decades of training and has a flag unexpectedly thrown on us, I think we'll be able to accurately judge how to compose ourselves for a few seconds immediately after.
I'm annoyed partially because of the actual backlash and partially because of how much it really shows Twitter to be what it truly is:
The platform of instant gratification that makes users' opinions feel validated while protecting them behind the anonymity of the Internet; a Social Justice Warrior's true natural habitat
To me, moments like this - the ones where you can choose to be angry over something - are all about asking yourself two simple questions:
#1) What was the intention?
When you see something happen, instead of turning into an instantly angry monster, try to understand the situation and its context. He wasn't intentionally putting the flag on the ground. There are people who do things like that intentionally and those people suck. Shaun White is pretty awesome. Giving him grief for a few seconds of unintentional action in a moment like that is just more of this country looking for something to be angry at, as there isn't already enough. We just have this insatiable need to be angry about something, some cause, some crusade, that needs our backing. Maybe it's because overall society isn't very good at expressing ourselves about the real issues in our everyday lives and it instead manifests itself
#2) What am I trying to accomplish by getting angry?
So you've either ignored the first question or you've deemed the action to be intentional and with some sort of purpose. Now that you're angry and up in arms over your new cause, what is your goal? Being angry without direction is of no use to anyone, including yourself. Find a way to be assertively angry - in some real capacity that could actually improve or address the action you're claiming to be mad about. The issue is that 99% of the time, this is just behavioural anger that is easily released into the social media world with no usefulness other than to stroke the ego of the poster. Take most tweets from #45 for example...
But I digress.... per the US Flag Code, if a flag touches the ground, the proper course of action is simply to adjust the flag. It was an accident and the world's Social Justice Warriors need to get over it. This 'online reaction' has been absurd and just follows suit to the nature of the negative trend of social media. I watched the whole thing live last night. Our country should be damn proud of him when you put what he did in perspective of everything else that's going on in our country right now. If you can't find something else to be upset about, you might just want to be angry at yourself.
Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day ❤️