10 toxic behaviors that sadly skyrocketed after the Millennium

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Society has been sliding into a more chaotic, toxic environment for a while.

Inflammatory comments by politicians, op-ed pieces by talking heads, and the general polarization of everyday people all contribute to this.

To minimize the effect this toxicity has on you, you need to be able to spot it.

Here are 10 toxic behaviors to keep an eye out for, that have become widespread in recent decades:

1. Entitlement.

These days, a lot of people think they deserve more than they have, regardless of the effort they put into getting it.

This is entitlement.

Let’s be clear. In the grand scheme of things, the universe owes you nothing. And believing it does will only bring misery to you and those around you.

At best, you may be recompensed or enjoy some benefit for what you put into life, but even then there’s no guarantee.

Extra reading: 5 No Nonsense Ways To Deal With Entitled People

2. Harassment.

In this technological age, most harassment takes place digitally.

It’s easy to dogpile someone whose opinion you don’t like from behind a screen.

Being a part of the lynch mob can be gratifying because you’re a part of a group, your anger is stoked, and you feel righteous in your cause.

But unfortunately, that kind of thing is poison to your mental health and well-being.

The more you dwell in anger, the angrier you are. And it’s impossible for happiness and anger to live together under the same roof.

3. Public shaming.

It’s becoming increasingly common for public figures to adopt the weapon and shield of public shaming to bully their way to victory.

And the digital age has made it easier for everyday people to jump on the bandwagon.

But it’s problematic behavior. You can never be entirely sure if the reason behind the public shaming is a valid, or even accurate, one.

People’s lives are destroyed in an instant, simply by others clicking ‘like’ and ‘share’.

Granted, some people deserve to be ostracized, but still, it’s important to be really careful about what we’re participating in.

4. Polarization and intolerance.

‘Echo chambers’ on social media are a huge problem despite the benefits they can bring.

The main issue is the algorithms that social media and search engines use. They want to give you what you’re looking for to keep you clicking.

So, when you start clicking on political memes, ads, or videos, they start serving you more of that content. Rarely will you end up seeing a balanced and nuanced take.

Instead, to keep you engaged, you’re fed toxic rage bait which drives polarized views and intolerance of anyone saying something different.

Because if you’re clicking and engaging, the media companies are getting paid.

5. Instant gratification.

Now, now, now!

We live in a society that caters to instant gratification.

Need something immediately? Just jump on Amazon and get it delivered right to your door later that day.

Streaming services launch new shows all at once, so the audience can binge it in one sitting. After all, if they had to wait week by week, they may not hang around to pad the viewer numbers.

This culture of easy and immediate gratification has toxic effects as it makes us forget that in ‘real life’ often the most important things require immense time and effort.

6. Comparison and competition.

There’s nothing wrong with a little competition. Comparison, however, is the thief of joy.

Of course, some things in life genuinely are a competition to advance or climb to the top.

But the people who compete because they want what others have are heading for unhappiness.

It’s like chasing a carrot on a stick. Sure, you may eventually catch the carrot, but once you eat it—then what?

One carrot isn’t going to satisfy you for long, if at all.

Extra reading: How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others: 5 Quick Tips

7. Glorifying overwork.

Hustle and gig culture are the worst.

Hustle culture promotes overworking as the key to ‘success’, whereas gig culture encourages people to make money through flexible, freelance positions with minimum security.

Granted, if you do it right, you can make a few extra dollars this way. However, a lot of hustle and gig economy is set up to take advantage of the participants.

Sure, you can drive for Uber to make money, but you’d better have considered the cost of the wear and tear on your car from driving that much.

And hustle culture is even worse, because if you aren’t on that #grindsetmindset then what are you even doing with your life?

8. Virtue signaling.

Is virtue signaling really so toxic?

Well, yes, because a lot of people who virtue signal aren’t doing anything beyond that.

They sit on the internet and complain about big issues or tell others how good a person they are without doing any of the actual work associated with it.

It encourages complacency and laziness.

After all, why bother doing the work or making a significant change when you can just say you support a cause and have people believe you?

9. Oversharing.

On the one hand, it’s good that the newer generations feel more comfortable sharing things about themselves that the older generations used to keep buried under trauma and alcoholism.

On the other hand, a lot of people nowadays don’t know when to stop.

In recent years, people have been plastering their personal lives and problems all over social media with little consideration of the ramifications.

For example, publicly sharing details about your kid’s struggles raises issues of consent and privacy that may come back to bite you when they’re old enough to find out.

And it’s worth remembering that a lot of employers nowadays do social media checks before deciding if a candidate is hirable or not.

So, although sharing sensitive details or opinions may seem ‘honest’ and ‘real’ at the time, it may burn you years down the line.

Extra reading: How To Stop Oversharing: 6 Tips That Actually Work!

10. Celebrity worship.

More and more people these days are looking to celebrities for information about the world or as a positive influence in their lives, regardless of whether they are or not.

Celebrity worship can also lead to toxic behaviors like buying useless things peddled by celebrities, envy of their lifestyles, and one-sided parasocial relationships.

It’s not healthy, and like most things on this list, the 24/7 access through digital media has made it worse.

People end up losing their identity and making themselves miserable and depressed because they’ll never be like that celebrity they adore.

And let’s face it, the celebrity probably has a tonne of their own problems anyway…

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About The Author

Jack Nollan is a person who has lived with Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar-depression for almost 30 years now. Jack is a mental health writer of 10 years who pairs lived experience with evidence-based information to provide perspective from the side of the mental health consumer. With hands-on experience as the facilitator of a mental health support group, Jack has a firm grasp of the wide range of struggles people face when their mind is not in the healthiest of places. Jack is an activist who is passionate about helping disadvantaged people find a better path.