As we get further from human contact with busy lives and social media, how will we get the valuable “first impressions” of people? Whether we like the idea or not, it is essential to have some kind of filter. Certainly, everyone doesn’t qualify for friendship, to be a trusted tenant or employee. It has become politically incorrect to judge other human beings on appearance, behavior, or even skills( Affirmative Action), but we have always needed to judge each other for many things. We do it and it is valuable.
At least, in the past, a sparkle in someone’s eyes and clean appearance gave them a chance. Nowadays, our society has chosen numerical scores to apply values to people.
It wasn’t very long ago that grading and testing were considered unfair and unclear. We have forgotten that many of our greatest entrepreneurs and inventors, dropped out of school, and off of that grid, yet we continue to weigh numbers so heavily. Why?
When it comes down to it, numbers cannot ever measure human value to each other and society. We all know, as well, how often numbers can be manipulated. Most of us, forget that fact, and wave them around as “proofs”.
The urban legends of “Numbers don’t lie” and “Everything in print is true.” are alive and well, my friends. Try making a “tongue in cheek” remark on Facebook if you doubt me.
My most recent pet peeve is the BMI (body mass index) applied to people in an effort, for some, to calculate health risks. The greater hidden agenda is about health care costs, period. In a doctor’s office these stats may be useful. In the public domain, they will discriminate and foster feelings of inadequacies rather than help. Our schools are about to apply a value (their explanation is , to teach.) on our kids. It’s surprising that in our modern information age, anyone who cares, could possibly remain uninformed about diet and exercise but the schools believe we are not informed. I think they consider us dumb. Furthermore, I believe the healthcare industry is scrambling to get health care stats out in the open. One way would be to allow schools to start collecting data. Hmmmm…tricky?
With my argument voiced, I could not help but find some humor in the revolution of numerical stats as a measure of human worth. I have a few ads we may see soon:
“You could be my sweetie-pie if not for your BMI.”
“I think that I would love you more, if you improved your credit score.”
“You may think outside the box but I hate your choice in stocks.”
“Popularity begins and ends, with your number of Facebook friends.”
Numbers are no way to measure the worth of anyone, yet, we are beginning to use them that way. Let’s not allow them to carry too much “weight”.
- Body Mass Index – Outdated and Obsolete? (weightlossfasttips.com)
- BMI Not a Good Measure of Healthy Body Weight, Researchers Argue (livescience.com)
- The useless nature of Body Mass Index (frombrowniestobikini.wordpress.com)
- Video: Is BMI the best measure of obesity? (cbsnews.com)