We’ve all seen those photos on Twitter, Instagram, and everywhere in between: A passenger in a bulkhead seat is sticking his bare feet against the wall while reading his US Weekly. Or maybe the feet are sticking out between the seats. Or perhaps it’s a distressed person seemingly re-packing their luggage at the airport. These images of passengers behaving in a baffling manner are fairly common and, let’s face it, hilarious. But is posting them a jerk move? Sometimes, yes.
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“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” —Abraham Lincoln #wednesdaywisdom ✈️👣😂💁🏼♀️ • • • #passengershaming #flyingfeet #NOPE #instagramaviation #airplaneetiquette #frequentflyer #crewlife #sassystew #aviation #cabincrew #avgeek #cabincrewlife #flightattendant #flightattendantlife #stewardess #flightattendantproblems #travel #flightattendants #instapassport #aviationgeek #FAlife #airtravel #travelgram #traveltips #pilot #pilotlife #travelling #frequentflier
What Does #PassengerShaming Accomplish?
We’ve all seen that video of a passenger trying to shove his carry-on bag vertically into the overhead bin. It’s actually kind of baffling because he’s fairly tall and should be able to see the problem. He doesn’t and has to be assisted by a flight attendant. Someone recorded the incident and posted it online. It went viral and even major news networks played it on the air. But what did sharing that video accomplish?
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Never challenge a flight attendant to a game of Tetris. NEVER. ✈️😂💁🏼♀️🕹#squarepegroundhole #facts #stowingluggageishard 💼 • • • #passengershaming #NOPE #instagramaviation #airplaneetiquette #frequentflyer #crewlife #sassystew #aviation #cabincrew #avgeek #cabincrewlife #flightattendant #flightattendantlife #stewardess #flightattendantproblems #travel #flightattendants #instapassport #aviationgeek #FAlife #airtravel #travelgram #traveltips #pilot #pilotlife #travelling #frequentflier
I understand posting photos of people misbehaving might help others figure out what’s acceptable in a public space. But embarrassing someone who is struggling with a simple task is just downright mean. And unnecessary, because all it accomplishes in the end is humiliating someone.
We all have our moments – how would you feel if one of them was posted on the internet and replayed for others to laugh at over and over again? The idea that we’re now posting videos of people’s humiliating moments as if we’ve never had one ourselves is just obnoxious.
Who Really Needs Calling Out?
Don’t get me wrong – I can take a joke. And if I see someone humiliating themselves, I will probably laugh and tell others about it. I just don’t think it’s right to photograph or video them and share it with others. Especially if it invades their privacy and makes them easily identifiable. I will make an exception for behavior that needs to be called out. If someone is behaving in an inconsiderate manner towards others or being rude, racist, misogynistic then I don’t object to shaming them. Witnessing bad behavior rather than hearing about it is more effective in 1.) addressing it and 2.) teaching others (and ourselves) a lesson in how not to behave.
It’s easy to point the finger at other people for acting “out of the norm” and talk about it. It’s more constructive if that behavior is addressed. So rather than pointing and laughing or broadcasting a passenger’s embarrassing or obnoxious behavior on the internet, try addressing ti directly. “Excuse me sir. Can you please move your bare feet away from my head? We’re in a public space and it’s probably best we all keep our socks on.” That’s way more sarcastic and shady than necessary, but then again I can be a jerk too. 😉 More effective than shaming someone publicly would be to educate them. And if you are going to share videos and photos of their shame, respect their privacy and block out their faces.
What are your thoughts on passenger shaming? Do you think it’s OK or a total jerk move?
[Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]