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Growth in harsh criticism harms more than helps

It’s hard to turn on the television today, flip through the channels, and not experience a wide array of criticism. Criticizing others seems to be the new fad.

In a world filled with reality TV shows and judges like Simon Cowell, we have grown accustomed to hearing blunt remarks, jeering criticisms and abusive insults.

The problem is that we are letting wide criticisms transcend beyond our television set — we as a society, with every passing day, are growing ever more critical. It seems that nowadays everyone fancies himself as a critic, giving him permission to freely judge others’ works.

There is a plethora of venues filled with panels of “experts” given the power of judging the work of others, whether they deserve to or not.

In the end, however, we must come to realize that criticizing is a relatively simple task requiring no special skills or talent. Anton Ego said it best: “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read.”

Yes, I just quoted “Ratatouille,” but it illustrates my point perfectly. We must come to realize that in the big scheme of things, our criticisms are largely insignificant. We must come to realize that and respect others who offer up their hard work to our judgment, whether we’re qualified to or not.

So, how does that apply to us as college students? As I mentioned earlier, this is hardly a problem that exists only on our television sets. We’re just as critical of others as these “experts” and judges on television — ironically, or perhaps appropriately, we also happen to be just as poorly qualified to make these judgments.

In our world, we are totally overexposed; with the power of the Internet, we’re constantly updating our status on Facebook and Twitter and putting up our pictures (and our personalities) online for everyone to see and subsequently judge. The question of whether we’re qualified to be making these kinds of judgments is easy to answer. We’re not.

Next time we see some critic on television and think he’s being too snobby or mean, we should really remember that we do the same to people around us. Perhaps then, and only then, when we realize these critics really have no room to criticize, we can finally stop doing the same ourselves.

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