13 Things That Are Considered Normal But Are Not

From work culture to societal expectations, there are a lot of aspects in our daily lives that are considered to be “normal”, but they are not. Here is a list of items which has been uncovered as not usual:

Housing Affordability

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The ability of individuals and families to find and afford acceptable housing options is called housing affordability. Home prices and skyrocketing rent have outpaced income growth, resulting in housing instability, homelessness, and a considerable cost burden. Research indicates that a significant portion of households in the US spend more than 30% of their income on housing, jeopardizing financial security and overall well-being. Rent control policies and the expansion of housing aid programs can address the issue of housing affordability by increasing the supply of affordable dwellings.

Environmental Neglect

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It includes all actions and policies disregarding or harming the natural environment, including pollution, deforestation, and habitat destruction. Neglecting the environment leads to climate change, ecological degradation, endangering human health, and biodiversity loss. Scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the urgent need for environmental protection and conservation efforts to mitigate environmental risks and safeguard planetary health. Advocating for policies and measures like reducing carbon emissions, adopting sustainable practices, etc, can address this ecological neglect.

Celebrity Worship

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Celebrity worship is known as excessive admiration and fascination with celebrities and public figures. It leads to unattainable standards of beauty, success, and lifestyle that cause feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction among individuals. Research suggests that media exposure to celebrities can influence self-esteem, body image, and materialistic values, shaping societal norms and aspirations. Proper awareness and promotion of media literacy, body image, and materialistic values can help shape societal aspirations and norms.

Digital Addiction

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This is characterized by excessive use of digital devices and technology such as phones, gaming platforms, and social media. Prolonged exposure to digital media can impact mental health, productivity, and relationships and even lead to social isolation. Studies show that excessive screen time and online engagement correlate with poorer mental well-being and cognitive function, highlighting the need for digital detox and moderation. Practicing mindfulness, engaging in offline activities, and setting boundaries on screen time can help individuals break free from digital addiction.

Pharmaceutical Dependence

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It refers to the dependence on prescription drugs for the treatment of chronic illnesses, mental health issues, or pain. The dependence could lead to substance abuse, addiction, and even death due to overdose. Practitioners highlight the risks of overprescribing and misuse of prescription drugs, underscoring the importance of safe prescribing practices and access to alternative therapies. Some measures work on prescription drug monitoring programs and improving access to mental health services as well as alternate therapies.

Student Debt

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Loans that individuals acquire to finance their higher education, living expenses, tuition, and fees. Large amounts of loans could put a burden on individuals as well as families, leading to financial instability. From a country’s perspective, it could lead to a fall in the economy and make it a debt trap. Research shows that student loan debt has reached record levels, surpassing credit card and auto loan debt, significantly impacting borrowers’ financial well-being and life choices. Promoting financial literacy can help reduce the burden of student debt and improve access to higher education.

Stagnant wages

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Stagnant wages could be defined as the lack of growth in workers’ real wages despite productivity gains or economic expansion. They generally contribute to financial insecurity and income inequality, leading to the widening of the wealth gap. Research indicates that real wages for many American workers have remained relatively flat or declined in recent decades despite overall economic growth and productivity gains. Proper implementation of policies and strengthening labour protection can help boost their income, leading to the economy’s growth.

Gender Norms

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Societal stereotyping and expectations regarding roles, behavior, and attributes based on gender are called gender norms. These norms limit an individual’s freedom and opportunities, which can cause inequality, discrimination, and violence. It could show that rigid gender norms contribute to disparities in education, employment, and healthcare access. Advocating for inclusive policies and good representation can help deal with harmful gender norms promoting gender equality.

Food Waste

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Edible food is discarded during production, distribution, or consumption stages. Wastage of resources and food increases hunger and food insecurity, leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions. Studies estimate that up to one-third of all food produced is wasted globally, highlighting the issue’s magnitude. Proper storage, meal planning, and initiatives to redistribute surplus food to those in need could minimize the wastage.

Excessive Work Hours

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They are working long hours, often beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. Excessive work leading to a hustle culture contributes to stress, burnout, and reduction in productivity. Research shows that long work hours can lead to adverse health outcomes, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mental health issues. Companies can implement policies that promote work-life balance, flexible working hours, and remote working options.

Overconsumption

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It means excessive usage or consumption of goods beyond what is necessary. It contributes to the degradation of the environment, puts pressure on natural resources and perpetuates a culture of materialism. Overconsumption leads to the depletion of finite resources and increased waste generation. Mindful resource consumption by prioritizing needs over wants could lead to sustainability.

Emotional Suppression

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Hiding one’s emotion or inhibiting it due to societal or cultural norms. It can have severe effects on one’s mental health, leading to an increase in stress, anxiety and depression. Suppressing emotions may also impact physical health, contributing to conditions such as hypertension and immune dysfunction. Promoting emotional awareness and acceptance, seeking support from friends, family, or mental health professionals, and practicing mindfulness and self-expression can help individuals navigate and address emotional suppression.

Disposable Culture

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A social trend of using and discarding items quickly results in a single use, often leading to waste. It contributes to pollution and harms the ecosystem. Promoting emotional awareness and acceptance, seeking support from friends, family, or mental health professionals, and practicing mindfulness and self-expression can help individuals navigate and address emotional suppression. Promoting reusable alternatives, implementing policies to reduce the usage of single-use plastics, and educating the general public have a significant impact on the environment.

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