Would Kate Middleton be Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge, be married to a Prince, and be considered one of the most beautiful women in the world if she sat with members of the press, tossed back a few tequila shooters, and regaled them with lewd and vulgar jokes?
Would Warren Buffet be one of the richest men in the world if he spent his days in public displays of vulgarity? It is probably safe to say that the answer to both questions is a resounding; NO!
Yet we hear vulgarity spewing forth, on a daily basis, from people of all ages. We can hear it in line at the grocery store, in the workplace, in school corridors, in church, and see it on social media.
For the sake of brevity, let’s narrow the focus to only two questions:
Why does vulgarity appear to be so prevalent in our society?
There are many reasons vulgarity appears so prevalent in our society today. Our sports figures use it freely, our celebrities use it in public forums, and it is heard in movies and television shows. Therefore, it isn’t difficult to understand why people might consider using vulgarity as an acceptable option.
With so much information only a keystroke away from us and so many blogs and websites appearing to be forums for experts on the subject, it isn’t difficult to see why some people might believe vulgarity is a common practice.
Lauren Martin, a pretty young woman who gives the appearance of a successful freelance writer, promotes using vulgarity and being vulgar as something to be proud of. On the blog site Elite Daily, a site self-described as “The Voice of Generation Y”, Martin says – in regards to women using vulgarity – “You’re the only one with any real self-worth.” She continues with, “People who get your humor are the best people; no one else matters.”
When so many of us hear vulgarity every day and can easily find seemingly successful people who advocate the use of vulgarity, it isn’t difficult for some to be persuaded that being vulgar is not a bad thing. However, as is true with many things, appearances can be deceiving.
What opportunities may be lost as a result of using vulgarity?
It would be almost impossible to quantify how many opportunities have been, or will be, lost because people choose to use vulgarity as a means of communication.
However, anecdotal evidence, common sense, and the rules and policies that are becoming commonplace in regards to preventing vulgarity in advertising, blog sites, social media, and YouTube videos, should make us aware that vulgarity is not as acceptable as we may be led to believe.
It is also not as benign as some would have us believe. Jeffrey S. Bowers, a Professor with a Doctorate in Psychology who has actually done scientific research into the area – not just written an opinion on a blog site – suggests that the words we speak can change our way of thinking, change our behavior, and can have a negative impact on how other’s think of us.
At journals.plos.org, Professor Bowers writes, “…the sound of a taboo word can directly evoke a negative response…Quite clearly we are motivated by our emotions, and we organize our behavior, thoughts, and goals in order to avoid emotional discomfort.”
Those who are attempting to avoid the emotional discomfort of hearing vulgarity at the wrong time, in the wrong place, may be compelled to not promote the offender, not make the offender a partner in the organization, not date the offender, not propose to the offender, not hire the offender, not ask the offender to the prom, or not fund the offender’s next good idea.
For those who choose to use vulgarity as their means of communication, you need to understand the choice will come with consequences. If you are willing to risk losing your chance to become rich, or to lose your Prince or Princess so that you may stay true to yourself by being vulgar, then it might be possible that some will applaud you; mostly your competition.
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