Age of Outrage: The 'harden up' mentality is detrimental to society

The world is changing. What was acceptable only a few short years ago is now labelled offensive. Social media is full of outrage from those who don't accept the status quo, and from those who won't accept change.

The Age of Outrage is a new series from Newshub exploring the changes taking place in society right now. Is it all PC gone mad? And who, exactly, are the snowflakes? Join the conversation - #AgeofOutrageNZ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

OPINION: Softies. Sensitive. The Twitterazi. Generation Snowflake.

All phrases that have been bandied around in recent years. A way to describe the overly sensitive, you know, the ones who can't handle the jandal.

It is used as a derogatory term to put down the current generation of 'sensitive millennials who complain'.

Initially, it is easy to think 'get over it', 'get on with it', 'face the harsh realities and stop complaining'.

'Back in my day we were hard as nails', 'back in my day we complained less'.

Well, actually, back in your day, suicide statistics were lower, back in your day mental health wasn't the priority, back in your day people hid in the shadows and never truly spoke out.

With the rise of freedom of speech, so too came the power to speak up and shout 'that's not okay'.

Black Lives Matter, International Women's March, Parkland's March for our Lives, gun control movements - were those people snowflakes? Did they not create positive change in our world?

It really is easy to think 'harden up' and trust me I have done it many a time, but I have realised in recent years it is one of the most unfair statements to make.

The harden up mentality is detrimental to our society.

If you haven't walked the path of the oppressed, there is just no way to truly understand how a particular set of words actually affect someone else.

The question is: Do we need to be more inclusive? Do we need to be more tolerant? Do we need to be more PC?

No, I don't think so.

What I do think is that we need to be aware of the language we use, for it has power and they aren't simply just words.

If someone is offended, that is their right to be and it isn't for us to put them down. That may have wider repercussions.

I remember the first time I heard it.

Fight Club: "You are not special, you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else".

Now, maybe think about that before you next call someone a snowflake.

Aziz Al-Sa'afin is a journalist for The AM Show and Newshub.