questionsdo you think common sense is still common?


Someone that drives across town to buy a product for 50 cents cheaper than a store that's closer. They forget about the cost of the gas, wear and tear on the vehicle, and their own personal time.


To me, the best example is people posting things online and believing that it will remain private. Or posting without thinking, the current version of drunk-dialing.


I don't think common sense is a think of the past, necessarily. I do believe that people aren't developing it as naturally or as quickly anymore, though.

In order to really make it in the real world (i.e. get out of your parent's house and *do something), you will have to develop some level of common sense.

I look at my little brother as a good example. When he was 14, he had more common sense (he could think in a level-headed way, and converse about adult things, and not get easily fooled) than anyone I met in his generation. The reason being, his peer group, since age 8, had been me and my college friends. Rather than getting sucked into his computer he was developing an adult level of common sense.

I think there is still hope out there, as long as parents challenge their kids, at an early age, to get out there and develop it :)


I don't think "common sense" was ever common. The internet has simply expanded our ability to do dumb things before a vastly larger audience.


texting while with the person you are texting.
texting while driving and complaining about how bad other drivers are at not paying attention to the road,
believers of "right on red" means they have more authority than anyone else to use that lane (the ones with the green light).


I think common sense is an arguably relative term. Depending on what sort of environment you're in, some things might be common sense while other environments would leave someone clueless for the same situation.

Common sense, to me, is something that is or should be obvious to all people. There are some things that should be common sense no matter what, but you can always find someone who just doesn't know.

I feel like there's a lot that plays into it. It's really hard to say. Just because a particular fact/ behavior is common sense to one person doesn't necessarily mean it is to someone else. It's difficult to say.


@cengland0: Especially when they are driving across town to get the cheapest gas.


@gideonfrost: I don't know what you're talking about...I've deleted all of my digital footprints. That's what "private browsing" means, right? That no one can find me...


@thedogma: Your post reminded me of an incident when I was a teenager. I was watching a friend's apartment while he was on an extended visit to Scotland. He asked me to keep his cooler running so his plants wouldn't die. The evaporative cooler burned out twice, and the second time I called the super to let him know, he came over and gave me an earful about how stupid I was for not leaving a window cracked as that's what was burning out the cooler motors. I told him I didn't know that. He responded "everybody knows that". I asked him if he was born knowing it, and he looked at me like I was crazy. I said, "At some point, somebody told you, that's how you know. Now you've told me, and now I know." I grew up back east, that was the first year I'd been living in an area where "swamp coolers" were used. What was common knowledge among people here was totally unknown to me.


Common sense tells us that we should always obey orders from people in charge. I wonder how that is working out.


@dogbountyhunter1: my exact thought when I read the question.


I mourn the death of common sense every day.


I know that commen sense has gone away. Example: last week the power went out to where I work. I got two calls from home because the night shift people couldn't work because the power was out. I told them that since the power was off the computers wouldn't work and wanted to know what they would like for me to do. They had no idea on what to do.


@moondrake: Now that is irony. I do drive farther to get cheaper gas but only because there's a store nearby that I go to anyway. I time my fillups to correspond with my visit to the nearby store.


@cengland0: Me too. I get my gas at Costco, but I only fill up every 2-3 weeks, and I go to Costco weekly, so gas is just one of the things on my Costco shopping list, not something I've driven over there to get. But I have friends that will go 20 miles out of their way to save .10 a gallon in gas. I tell them they are taking a loss on their time and gas getting there and they tell me "It's the principle of the thing." Yet these same people will waste money on all kinds of other things. People are strange about cars. It's some kind of fringe religion with some folks.


To me "common sense" is synonymous with "mental independence." Once you're responsible for your own decisions and thinking you'll be motivated to consider a wider net of options and have a broader experience based to use to help make proper decisions. Some people will instead remain impulsive for their entire lives and generally suffer for it.

I think the erosion in common sense is caused in large part by parents who don't let their kids learn lessons the hard way. The "helicopter parents" hover over their kids and any time there is a potentialquandary, they're there to help the kids out and make decisions for them. The kids grow up rarely having to do much for themselves and find they're unprepared for the real world.

I couldn't possibly recall all the times I've had to stop my wife from helping the kids with something they could easily think through themselves. Ask my kids what the most common words out of my mouth are and they'll tell you they're "Figure it out yourself!"


We were discussing this in my family. There's a difference and sometimes a fine line between common knowledge and common sense. If everyone grew up with the same moral standards a lot of things would be common sense, but since we all come from different parts of the world majority of the stuff we acknowledge as common sense is actually common knowledge since many people can't or won't see from another perspective.


@moondrake: I pull my hair out every time someone (often with a college degree) tries to recruit me for a 1-day "gas out" protest. There's so many things wrong with their "logic" that I don't even know where to begin explaining it. I just stand there in awe as they proudly say they are gonna fill up ye olde gas tank the day before the "gas out" so they won't have to buy gas that day. And if the price of gas drops a penny in the next week or so, they are convinced their "protest" was what did it. If the price goes up, they insist it didn't go up as much as it would have otherwise, or (break out the straightjackets) it's a government conspiracy to punish them for the protests. Maybe it's the gas fumes.


@adadavis: Maybe their logic is sometimes that a big balloon can be burst by a little pin. Just saying.


All I know is he knows about coco bread.


@atd15: And so it can - by overall reduction in usage: carpool, consolidate trips and take the shortest routes, obey speed limits, walk or bicycle instead of drive whenever possible, take the bus, let unused areas of property go wild instead of mowing, mow every other week instead of twice a week, allow employees to work from home instead of coming in to the office every day, teleconference instead of meeting, etc.


we have access to more information than ever before.
that information happens to focus on stories about people snorting nutmeg & jamming ballpoint pens in their eyeballs.

we are also living in a highly divisive, frequently acrominious time. often it's all about "being right."

it is easy to take away from this, then, that everybody else's brains have turned to pudding.
but (i believe) what's true is people - on the whole - know how to behave sensibly.
billions of people make practical decisions - occasionally even altruistic ones - every day.

(maybe not me, but lots of people do.)


@pemberducky: If you ever get a chance, read the Milgram Experiments. Most people just nod their head and agree with what they are being told to do or say.
Cool thing is that sometimes people shake their head, and the world changes.


I think "common sense" and "critical thinking skills" are related, but not exactly the same thing. Driving significantly out of one's way to "save money" on gas when it actually costs more money in gas/wear-and-tear/time is an example of poor critical thinking skills.

I do think critical thinking skills are declining, at least based on a decade of dealing with traditional-age undergraduates and grad students of a broader range of ages. I suspect that the emphasis on standardized testing that resulted from "No Child Left Behind" caused critical reasoning and analytic skills take a back seat in schools.



But it has never been common either.


@adadavis: I don't see it at work, but I do see it in my online communities. Also this idea that if you boycott all the gas stations of a particular type in your area, you will put the whammy on that oil company. Except that local gas stations don't necessarily get their fuel from the oil company whose name is on their sign. It's a dynamic resource and they buy from whoever's vending. But it's the same mindset. People want the world around them to change without making any changes or sacrifices to their own behavior.


@thedogma: Reading your post was like reading my own views on the subject transcribed by someone else, except in a better articulated and much more concise way than mine would have ever been.


I think common sense is still around. People still are doing the same stupid things as before but there is more coverage of them because of the interwebz.


I work at a grocery store. There I get to see the young minds as they are about to, and eventually graduate. I'm only 24, but in general I find that the kids coming out of our local (and highly acclaimed) highschool know more than I do as a college student, but can't even count change. Honestly. Some of them can recite the most ridiculous chemical equations and history dates/events. Yet when a customer gives them a $50 bill and they type $20 in the register they call me for help. They may know a lot more, but they have issues applying it.