How Many Safety People Know What Schadenfreude Means?
- Pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.
‘a business that thrives on Schadenfreude’
‘a frisson of Schadenfreude’
Origin: German Schadenfreude, from Schaden ‘harm’ + Freude ‘joy’.
If you waste any time on LinkedIn then you would realise that the posts that get the most number of views, likes and comments are those that feature a meaningless aphorism meme, a video by an 18 year old woman sharing her extensive entrepreneurial experience and leadership wisdom or, somebody rescuing a family of ducks.
What is even more disturbing is the number of likes, shares and comments on videos showing people getting injured at work or, even more disgusting, showing them getting crushed or electrocuted to death. The self righteous, hindsight based comments from “safety professionals” are usually along the lines of: “hilarious”; “you can’t control stupid”; “another Darwin award winner”; “wouldn’t happen on my watch”; “they are idiots in the 3rd world”; “OSHA wouldn’t be happy”; “great learning example, I’ll use that at my next safety meeting”; or, a detailed explanation of what when wrong and how to prevent it (based on a 10 sec clip and no context).
Pretty sad that safety people, many of whom claim to be in the game because they care about people, would use the demise or death of others to justify their existence or to show their relevance and superiority.
I’ve given up commenting on these videos on LinkedIn as I get accused of being “warm and fuzzy” – I just report the posts as being “Inappropriate for LinkedIn” (but where would LinkedIn be without all that rubbish?)
Is this Schadenfreude, voyeurism, insecurity or some other “ism”? I’m more interested in hearing your thoughts below than expressing any more of mine.
You might enjoy this article for more on Schadenfreude: The truth about schadenfreude: Why we find joy in another’s misfortune