(Aldergrove Star files)
(Aldergrove Star files)

(Aldergrove Star files) (Aldergrove Star files)

RYAN’S REGARDS: Everyone’s a hero with a phone at the ready

Every social interaction seems to come with cell phones documenting the situation

There’s a reality TV series that has aired on ABC for sixteen seasons called What Would You Do?

I thought it had long been cancelled more than a decade ago, but the hidden camera experiment has apparently survived all this time.

If you haven’t seen it, actors in social settings present hypothetical dilemmas to real people; many of them testing morals by acting out something illegal or dangerous like peer pressure to take drugs. Or a customer is rude – often racist – to an employee.

The list of scenarios goes on, but the draw comes from the reactions of the unsuspecting people who chose to stay quiet or intervene.

Host John Quiñones steps in before situations escalate to dissect people’s responses with interviews and revelations that what just occurred was fake.

I remember it being an interesting watch, but I also recall reading about situations that arose because of that show. People in real-life situations – no actors or hidden cameras in-sight – thought what they were witnessing was a setup; prompting some to actually get hurt when they intervened.

Worse yet, others were inspired to do right because of What Would You Do?, but found themselves looking to intervene in any minuscule hint of conflict in order to be the hero who saved the day; even when their help wasn’t at all called for.

People couldn’t tell what was real, what was fake, and what was a necessary scenario to step into and give aid.

Today, we can’t escape the armies of people wanting to do good… or do something… anything… to stand up for whatever they determine is unjust.

READ MORE: Ryan’s Regards: COVID brain is fogging life, death, and the rest of all things

Cell phone videos of truly earth-shattering moments such as the killing of George Floyd have sparked change and outrage. Would we have gotten the same outcome in court if not for the video taken of Derek Chauvin kneeling on his back? I highly doubt it.

But moments like that are the exception to the rule, even though there are some people who roam the streets searching for the next big moment to spark social change – phone at the ready.

Many are just simply on extra high alert.

I was at the doctor’s office the other day, and I heard a commotion from outside. While waiting for the doc to come into the examination room, I pressed my face against the window and saw a woman being handcuffed and brought into a police cruiser.

There were illicit drugs strewn about the sidewalk. She was screaming at the top of her lungs and resisting arrest.

Several feet away was a pedestrian who had stopped to film the entire escapade with her phone.

Why? What was she going to do with that video?

The officers were calm and far from using excessive force. But still, this woman felt she needed to document the situation. Perhaps to file it away in case a world-alerting court case sprung up and needed video footage.

Maybe she was going to stumble on it at a party months down the road and gather her friends to watch the commotion unfold as if it were some peice of entertainment?

Yes, you could make a whole 16-season program featuring cell phone clips of negative encounters between pro and anti-mask people. It would be a hit. Watching those interactions has, I think, become a guilty pleasure of many. We get a rise out of it as if it were a safe battle of surrogates representing some vicarious battle between political views.

But the more I look around, the more I see through people’s intentions; public documentation for the purpose or justice falls behind public documentation for vengeance and heroism.

Not that I’m ungrateful for messages I get from you, I do get so many emails from people wishing to “expose” businesses because of a less than pleasant interaction. There are those who wish to rat out a neighbour they had a disagreement with.

Why is the community newspaper the first place you go instead of the Better Business Bureau, local government, or, I don’t know, the police?

I believe it’s done to publicly shame someone and publicly exonerate another. Much can be said about the social justice movement. Maybe people who intervene in everything are going around, expecting a hidden camera around every corner?

I’ve got to tell you Langley, a small Canadian town may not be perfect, but the balance is off. Not everything – in fact, very few things – are a noble and just cause to push back and fight.

Live life without expecting to be a superhero. Rise to the occasion when a hero is needed.


Have a story tip? Email: newsroom@aldergrovestar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

AldergroveColumn

Just Posted

Participants in the 2019 Valley GranFondo wait for the starting signal in 2019. The event, which had to be called off because of the pandemic, is tentatively set to resume in 2022. (Langley Advance Times file)
No GranFondo cycling event in Fort Langley this year

Organizer hopes to be back for 2022

Shannon Todd Booth, the Langley Hospice Society communication and funds manager, with some of the ceramic hearts on sale at Saturday’s fundraiser at the Fort Langley Community Hall. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
First in-person fundraiser by Langley Hospice Society a success

For society volunteers and members of the Fraser Valley Potters Guild, it was a good day

Langley standup comedian Susan Thompson said the cost of her return-to-Canada quarantine in hotel was more than she made during a working trip to the U.S. (Canadian Press/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An expensive return home for Langley standup comedian

Susan Thompson scored work in Las Vegas, but a compulsory hotel COVID quarantine put her in the red

New Langley dining establishment The Barley Merchant was staffing up to open. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
With dining-in back on the menu, Langley restaurants are getting busy again

With the end of the ‘circuit breaker,’ staff are being hired and new looks are being unveiled

Langley teen Julia Kang has a new cross-trainer, thanks to the Sunshine Foundation charity (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley teen forced indoors by pandemic can still work out, thanks to donation

Charity makes dream of indoor cross-trainer come true

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Most Read