Friday, February 24, 2006

"Don't talk to Strangers" (80's scare) has produced paranoid adults

Parenthood really gets you thinking about your own childhood and things you were taught. I was talking to a friend the other day and a theory came into my head about this subliminal message that has stuck in my head since 1983. Fellow gen Xers and me grew up in a paranoid world where we were told not to talk to strangers under any circumstances. Which basically meant, anybody you already don't know. Which therefore produced generally impolite adults, who don't talk to anybody. Even as adults, these people close themselves off from the world of the nameless person. The message they should have said is "Don't talk to strange or creepy people; don't go anywhere with strangers, and stay away from those 70's style 'kidnapper' vans (I still call them kidnapper vans by the way). What I would like to have asked the campaign creators is "then when can you start talking to strangers?" As an adult, I find meeting new people interesting; in fact I enjoy going to something and talking to complete strangers. I wasn't always like this, because McGruff the crime dog would always pop-up in a cartoon bubble telling me "Don't talk to strangers!! Run! Call the po-leece". It's sad, because most (80’s) parents now are teaching their kids this - Strangers, no matter whom, are all kidnappers with razor blade infused candy, without just teaching them how to stay away from bad situations and common sense instead.
  • McGruff the Crime Dog
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