You know what’s crazy? There are these huge, massive societal issues that everyone knows about but no one wants to talk about.
One Redditor asked, “What is the biggest ‘elephant in the room’ that society needs to address?” Many users commented on this thread, and we have selected the top 20 ones for you!
Remember when people actually knew their neighbors? Now, it’s all strangers and closed doors. We’ve built this society where we’re more connected online than in our own neighborhoods.
A person commented, “We’ve built a society that’s completely lacking in community, and it’s making us miserable.”
Another added, “I hate to admit this, but I’m part of the problem; I have no clue who my neighbors are and have no desire to meet them. I always avoid social situations; I think we all have an underlying issue we’re not addressing. I’m not happy. I’m at my best when I’m social but avoid it for some reason; It’s so stupid.”
2. Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
You’d think these little life-savers would always work, right? Nope. Someone wrote, “Bacteria’s growing resistance to antibiotics.”
Another replied, “Finish. Your. Course. If prescribed antibiotics, take them until either there are no more pills or when the doctor says to stop. Those are generally the ONLY two reasons you should stop taking antibiotics.”
3. Old Politicians
Someone shared, “Some politicians are too old to still be active in politics.”
Another responded, “It doesn’t matter what is the alternative, if somebody is lost on the stage, has a shutdown while he/she speaks, has a mental breakdown, suffers a stroke, gets terminal cancer or any other terminal disease, speaks incoherently, he/she needs outside help to walk or talk, …, he/she is too old and should be removed immediately”
We need fresh ideas, new perspectives, and, most importantly, people who understand the world we live in today. It’s time for the old guard to step aside and let the new generation take the wheel.
4. Meaningful Conversation
A person commented, “The internet has ruined our ability to meaningfully communicate since it has devolved into a data farm for a handful of powerful cooperations that benefit from driving engagement by pitting people against each other.”
Another added, “Absolutely, it’s become a weapon instead of its original intended use of human cooperation. And now we cannot have a meaningful convo with people around us.”
We’re all glued to our screens, forgetting how to have real conversations. We need to unplug occasionally and remember how to connect without emojis and hashtags.
5. Social Media
Someone wrote, “Social media is by far the biggest elephant in the room. Most of these other issues aren’t addressed due to dysfunction but are widely acknowledged.”
Another replied, “People aren’t even grappling with the damage social media is doing to people psychologically, mentally, and to our collective psyche as a nation. I don’t know the answer, but I worry about it a lot.”
We need to learn to use it responsibly and not let it mess with our self-esteem and mental health.
Misinformation? It’s everywhere. People are using fake news to mess with our heads, to divide us.
Someone shared, “Misinformation being used to weaponize beliefs. It’s okay to have different opinions on the facts, but we shouldn’t have to disagree on what the facts are.”
Another added, “I feel like the big issue now is that people think misinformation and propaganda only happens on the opposite side of their beliefs.”
A person commented, “Corporations and billionaires have way too much power.”
Another responded, “I think they’re the natural progression of capitalism. Winners keep winning, and losers keep losing. There is some variability and some government oversight maybe, but it can’t be enough.”
We need a fair system that doesn’t leave people struggling while others swim in cash.
8. For-Profit Sectors
Someone wrote, “Putting “making a profit” as our main priority in society, no matter the sector, be it healthcare, housing, education, renewable energy, etc.”
Another replied, “Not just a profit, but MASSIVE profits. Numerous industries, such as healthcare, have tons of middle-men that should not have any involvement in your transactions but have somehow inserted themselves so that they get a cut whenever Party A and Party B do business.”
We need businesses that care about more than their bottom line – businesses that give back to society and treat their employees right.
9. Lack of Education
Education is supposed to be this great equalizer, right? But, oh boy, it’s not. Not everyone has access to quality education, and that’s a massive problem.
Someone shared, “Lack of education. The percentage of adults who are absolute idiots is astounding.”
Another added, “A lot of these idiots actually went to school though. and teachers usually aren’t paid enough to care either. They just gotta babysit these fools until they grow up, move on, and be replaced by the next batch.”
Man, we’re drowning in plastic. It’s everywhere – in our oceans, our food, even the air we breathe. We’ve got to cut down on this plastic obsession, find alternatives, and clean up our mess.
A person commented, “Plastics. Recycling is an absolute joke. We were all deceived.”
Another responded, “And plastic isn’t good for your health either; glass or steel is superior, but now they make things as bad as possible and the prices as high as possible.”
11. Mistreating Children
Mistreating children – seriously, how is this still a thing? Every child deserves love, care, and a safe environment to grow up in.
Someone wrote, “Child torture in all forms is largely ignored and much more common than people realize. Many with PTSD and warped views on relationships that never really accept or realize they were ill-treated.”
Another replied, “Emotional neglect, too, but people are so derisive. “What, you’re upset that mommy and daddy didn’t hug you? You’re an adult now, aren’t you?!” I’m upset that I came up in a family in a society and that I spent 20 years feeling less than a person until I was thrust into the world and told, “be an adult.””
Someone shared, “Garbage food. The overwhelming majority of people eat poorly because that’s what the giant corporations want them to do.”
Another added, “Andrew Zimmern did a show where he talked about food in our society. One of them showed how a small town got a new Dollar General Store, which forced the “mom and pop” grocery store out of business. He walked through the DG and noted, “This is all the worst possible food.” Nothing but chips, sodas, processed foods, candy, etc.”
It’s cheap, yes, but it’s also making us sick. We need affordable, nutritious food options available to everyone.
13. Climate Change
Then there’s climate change, the mother of all elephants. Our planet is on the verge of a serious meltdown (literally!), but some people still act like it’s just a conspiracy theory.
Someone wrote, “Climate change is probably the biggest since the rest won’t matter for much longer if that’s not dealt with, but that won’t happen unless at least a few of the smaller elephants are addressed first.”
Another responded, “And we live in a country where we have presidential candidates and other politicians insisting that climate change is a hoax. They’re simply pandering to their ignorant and generally dumb voting base.”
A person commented, “If things keep going as they are in most Western countries, we will have an entire generation that has never owned a home or have any significant savings.
Another added, “An entire generation going into retirement under those conditions is going to be a disaster for everyone. It will mean mass homelessness or subsidized rents in old age, yet nothing seems to be done about it.”
We need to find a way to provide shelter and support for those without a home. It’s a basic human right, for crying out loud.
Someone shared, “AI and automation are going to put a LOT of people out of jobs (truck drivers, customer support, actors, writers, digital artists, etc.).”
Another replied, “We’re rapidly approaching a breaking point where we will have more people than jobs because machines are simply better (more reliable, constantly available, cheaper to scale, etc) than humans at a lot of tasks.”
It’s not about stopping progress but ensuring everyone benefits from it, not just a select few.
Why don’t businesses just pay their staff decently? Tips shouldn’t be the difference between making rent and going hungry.
Someone wrote, “Tipping, like why am I tipping just so YOUR employees can make ends meet? Isn’t that your job? I mean, of course, I’m going to tip because I’m not a monster, but like shape up god.”
Another added, “A friend’s gf is American and made it clear that many workers are happy with the system because if people really do tip as they are ‘supposed’ to, you make so much more on a single night than you would over the course of multiple days with a stable wage. It’s like commission.”
17. Street Life
Man, it’s heartbreaking seeing people living on the street, especially when there are empty buildings all around.
A person commented, “The sheer amount of people who are so strung out on the hardest of drugs expediting the rate of deterioration mentally by adding in the stresses of living on the streets. I lost several childhood friends to this stuff, and the others are becoming more and more unrecognizable by the day.”
Another replied, “Simple possession surely doesn’t warrant incarceration, but street folk are armed more and more from what I’ve seen lately. Big blades, baseball bats, and more are pretty commonplace to see around high-traffic areas. An old friend who got caught up in that life keeps getting let out of jail after being booked on felony charges of violence. It’s happened 3 times this year.”
18. Nuclear Power
Nuclear power now there’s a hot topic. Some say it’s amazing for reducing CO2 emissions, and yes, it’s true. But it also comes with some major risks – remember Chernobyl?
Someone wrote, “Nuclear power is very effective at reducing carbon dioxide emissions; environmentalists who don’t accept this fact are just as bad if not worse than the evil greedy capitalists who want to keep the status quo.”
Another responded, “And Germans seemed to be dumb enough to try to get rid of their advanced nuclear reactors before getting rid of their fossil fuel plants, supposedly in an effort to be carbon neutral. Except nuclear power would make it quicker.”
More people means more resource demand, more pollution, and more strain on everything. A person commented, “Too many people. 8 billion is too many.”
Another added, “This claim leads to a lot of questions with answers that usually end up sounding genocidal or forcing a eugenics program. Is it the number of people, or just how we take care of them that’s the issue?”
We need to find a way to stabilize our population without resorting to drastic measures. Education and access to family planning might be a good start.
It’s crazy that in some places, people can’t get the medical help they need just because they can’t afford it. Health isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.
Someone shared, “In the USA – Having your health insurance tied to a job. The moment you lose the job, you can triple the cost of health insurance or do without and pray you don’t have an accident.”
Another replied, “Should nationalize healthcare. Force the drug companies to negotiate the lowest drug rates anywhere.”
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