Social Media Enabling Loss Aversion

Recently, I was listening to the podcast “This American Life.”  You have probably heard about it, it’s a podcast given by Ira Glass where he tells someone’s story.  The particular one I was listening to was a unique one. it was called “Not Fair!” and its focus was on referees.  No one likes referees, at one point in your life they probably made a call in a sport you cared about against a team you cared about.  Even if you have never watched sports in your life, you probably are aware of peoples’ distaste for referees.  Recently, hatred for refs have grown to all new heights.  This isn’t my conclusion it was the podcast’s, and they backed it up.  After interviewing refs that have been around for significant amount  time, they were able to come to conclusion that the “F*** you Ref” chants have gotten worst and more malicious.  This would have been an interesting enough podcast, if they had ended it there, but they didn’t.

The podcast pointed out that refs, if anything, have been making better and better calls.  Technology has grown, refs can now re-play possible fouls, and goals, to see if they made the right call.  There where even studies showing that refs have gotten less bias against players that are not their race, and less bias against visiting teams.  I saw two possible explanations; either one, the refs simply feel like the hate mail, chants, etc. have gotten worse because it is what they’re experiencing now, or two, social media has enable the inequality and loss aversion within the general public.  It is my belief that the latter is far more likely.

Social media has seemed to make people an incredibly critical group, and not always in the most logical sense.  Consider people who argue reverse racism, men have become the oppressed sex, and the All Lives/Blue Lives matter movement.  What has sparked these perspectives?  I would argue growth.  If we could say that as a nation we have become more and more progressive, more and more empowering for minorities and others, it is at the expense of privilege, it is at the expense of someone being called sexist, racist, etc.  There are people that are noticing these costs.  They’re noticing these costs a lot more than their privilege.  The result; people claiming that the new oppressed sex is man, but honesty they should cool their jets.  While women get paid $0.75 on the dollar is an improvement it is still now $1 on the dollar.

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