Internet Weighs in on Which 'Normalized' Practices in Society Are 'Not Okay'

Thousands weighed in on a Reddit post asking about aspects of everyday life that are accepted as OK when in actuality they are not.

In a post voted on over 19,000 times, with over 15,000 comments, user u/BigCook8220 asked the internet: "What is so normalized in today's society but isn't ok?" Though the post in its entirety has been removed from the platform, that did not stop users from giving their two cents.

Commenters noted everything from "unskippable ads" to "working when sick." Given that Reddit is a platform used globally, the answers came from users all around the world.

In 2016, the BBC published a piece titled "The psychology behind the subtle pressure to work when sick," which cites research that suggests that "if you work while sick you will perform more poorly, you're more likely to make errors and you'll be less vigilant."

According to research from the University of East Anglia, the BBC said, employees who feel pressured and stressed by colleagues or bosses and those who are "highly motivated" will turn up to work when sick. On the other hand, employees who might be feeling harassed or discriminated against in the workplace "will feel more anxious about asking for leave."

Working while sick
A now-viral Reddit post got people talking about what societal norms are deemed OK, even though they're not. This stock image shows a woman who is sick while at work. Antonio_Diaz/Getty Images

Of course, this was written before the COVID-19 pandemic, when staying home while sick is necessary for those infected by the virus.

One commenter on the thread recalled a time when they were working at Sam's Club making rotisserie chickens and felt forced to work despite illness.

"...one time I had food poisoning and they threatened to fire me if I didnt come in," the Redditor wrote. "So there I was, making those rotisserie chickens that everyone loved, while constantly running off to vomit and [sh*t] my brains, but I had bills to pay and couldnt be without a job. This was right after the 2008 recession, so finding work in my area was terrible."

Other norms noted were viewing "celebrities or the ultra wealthy as role models," "Taking videos of others without their consent," "Children beauty pageants" and "Tossing cigarettes on the ground."

In 2019, National Geographic reported that roughly $6.5 trillion worth of cigarettes is purchased each year globally with only an estimated third of those ending up in the trash. The article explains that it's not only the plastic from the filters that cause harm to the environment but also "nicotine, heavy metals, and many other chemicals."

France banned beauty pageants for children under the age of 16 in 2013 "in an effort to protect girls from being sexualized too early," NBC news reported at the time. The law said that anyone who entered a child into a pageant would face up to two years in prison and 30,000 euros in fines.

In 2009, it was estimated that around 5,000 child pageants occurred across the United States with 250,000 kids entering each year, ABC News reported with babies as young as a few weeks old competing.