Monday, June 17, 2013

Society, Products and Safety

This past weekend, I was talking to someone who says they don't let their kids walk the 300m to school on their own. When I was a kid at 7yrs old, I would walk to school on my own, and my school was a mile or so away.   This got me thinking; Is it really that unsafe in this day and age, or were we more naive in the old days?  

Most people will agree now that "things are not like they used to be".  But what does that really mean?

Somehow, we are in general agreement in acknowledging that its less safe these days.  Does this mean that if the current trend continues, the future will continue to get very unsafe?

People appear to be resigned to the fact that if we continue this trend they will be more prepared for it, so they purchase bigger fences, bigger cars, more burglar and panic alarms for their cars, houses, and kids, and at the same time start tracking anything is not bolted down and moves, so they microchip the cat, track their phone and GPS track anything else including the elderly.

This would indicate that people have little faith in things getting better and becoming safer, and despite the rhetoric you hear, nobody has any intention of fixing it either.  The usual citation is "We live in modern times, so we need to take a fresh approach", then the police, politicians and everyone else just goes back to doing what they did before.

Some people would argue that the media has pumped society's head with irrational fears so we will buy their new products.  Just take the average car advert for example - is it saying the car is really safe, or is it saying society is bad, and if you don't buy this car to protect you and your loved ones, then you'll be blamed for anything that happens to anyone?

There's some blame to be put here in advertising, but there's equal blame on society for not identifying this and actually stating that maybe we should look at fixing things instead.