Daily Dose of Society #3: Parroting Others

What is Parroting Others? It is the act of repeating what someone says without doing any soul searching and or fact checking to find out if it feels right or is factually correct to be spouting as fact. At the least that the context I am going to use it in today.

Why is that so important to me? Because as an Autistic person I have a significant issue with misinformation or lack of information, especially when it comes to the benefit or detriment of others. I can tell you many stories where a small bit of parroting others has been to my detriment, and very little time where I can express to you it has been a boon on my life. This holds true, especially in my therapy. When I am looking for a therapist at this moment in time, I have to go through this sales pitch about how the normal flow of therapy is not the same as I go through, and how I need the therapist to suspend their disbelief because I am not the norm. Then I get back a bunch comments that boil down to “Yeah well, this is the process and what I like to do”. That isn’t to say they are not entitled to do those things but what if once the normal way of dealing with whatever you have to deal with is questioned, and the socially acceptable method is critiqued as if it was the absurdity that I can at times see it as? To me that would be the goal of this Blog series, but even more so the topic of today’s specific blog.

I am going to take the most simplistic example that I can find to use as the basis for this critique. In the English language the word Cat is spelled with a C an A and a T. Yet it does not have to be to get the same effect. For instance, it can be spelled Kat and still be phonetically cat. I understand that this might not be “Correct” in the sense of society but why would this not be acceptable as a spelling for a furry feline? What is the harm? Why would Kat be so wrong that in a spelling bee it would be considered a failure? Maybe it is the proper spelling that needed to be accepted this entire time?

Now no I do not expect you or me to question every single little word, but the word Cat is a type of parroting to me because of the implication that it cannot be spelled any other way or it is nothing but a failure. The fundamental breakdown of every single word in the English Language being questionable as to how it is spelt can lead to an inability to communicate. Intense I know but these are the thoughts I have.

Why is this example so important though? Imagine this was a more complex idea, I’ll take the most popular idea that I can think of at this moment in time. “The virus COVID-19 is just like the Flu and we should treat it like the Flu instead of shutting the country down because of it”. This type of information parroting gets to me in a way that I never expected it to, because its followed with things like. “More people die to Heart Disease, or Automobile accidents per year”. All of these things might be factual on paper without any context in connection to what is actually going on, but neither side of the fence that uses this type of information has any understanding of what is going on, so suddenly it becomes dangerous to parrot this type of information around saying that you know something that others do not. It can create confirmation bias and lead to people getting sick who are compromised in their health. It can lead to people who are not compromised getting sick because they feel emboldened by someone sharing their frustrations.

At the end of the day, I understand that everyone must live their lives their way, but we can all do better, even me.

Make sure to check out the other Doses of Society I have wrote, you can find them on the front page. That is all for now.

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