The problem with our biases and prejudices is that they are often wrong. We sweep everyone associated in the category into one giant box. And now that someone is labeled, we can point out the flaws to make ourselves feel better.
Regardless of what the digital algorithm spits out on our threads or what we read on the internet or what people tell us or what we think, most teenagers are not eating Tide Pods. The reason being, most teenagers know that Tide Pods are dangerous and contain poison.
39 cases of people eating Tide Pods were reported in 2016. 53 in 2017. So far, 39 cases in 2018. We are less than a month into the year. Yes, that is alarming but not an epidemic. Not enough to paint teenagers as Tide Pod droppers.
Something we have to understand about human behavior: When we see someone jay walking across the street, we now assume it is okay for us to jay walk across the street. Deep down we know it is wrong, but we justify our bad behaviors when we see someone else do it.
If we listen to popular cultural believes, we would have thought the 1960’s were the heyday of drug use. In reality, it was the 1970’s and 80’s that brought on the wave of unprecedented drug use.
The point is: We need more faith in our youth that when the time comes they are going to make decisions that are going to make our mothers proud. Mocking them widens the gap between us. Labels are made up. We can change them. And by doing so, we may open doors for the next generation to do things we never thought we could do.