One of the things currently rippling through the culture, at least in the United States, is the understanding of what casual discussions mean and how they influence people. The effects cover both the good and the bad.
In the good column, we can look at the availability of experiences that are different from our own. Countless content creators talk about their life experiences out there. If we want to learn about lives that are not our own, we only need to run a quick search rather than request someone else explain it to us individually. That alone has dramatically changed experiences.
Unfortunately, despite the availability of perspectives not our own in every medium, there is still a proliferation of casual isms (racism, sexism, etc.) that must be addressed. These are not just casual conversations; it takes energy to rock the boat and call people on it too. After all, what people say in casual settings can become part of a larger conversation.
That’s why the “locker room talk” issue has become so big. Over the decades, it’s been something that’s tolerated and even required in some circles. Those casual conversations and references normalize the behavior and the relative places on the social ladder. That’s part of why talking about these issues matters.
Of course, there is a flip side to that as well. Modern casual conversations can also give people words for their experiences. It’s great to have the right words to describe our experiences and find others who share them. This availability of specific terms has literally changed lives.
An example of this is the LGBTQIA+ community. Many people claim there are too many words and identities, but each describes an experience. Using them helps people connect, recognize their common experiences, and more.
As people, we can encourage our casual conversations in a more positive direction, given enough energy. As Star Trek lovers, we’ve heard countless speeches on these issues related to various events. We can be part of shaping the better future we want to see.