In-depth Psychology of Young People Who Post “Nuisance Videos”
Videos of disruptive or even illegal behavior often taken in public places like restaurants etc., known as “nuisance videos” in Japanese, have recently caused a stir in the world. Just like a lot of other people, these types of videos make me angry.
In the midst of this, a friend of mine had an interesting opinion regarding them. Going off of this, I would like to discuss my own thoughts, particularly surrounding ethics.
This folly of Japanese youths was widely reported in several countries.
I thought it was just the young man who licked the mug, so I was disappointed to see a variety of these “nuisance videos” by different people surfacing one after another. After seeing these types of videos, I’m sure I was not the only person who thought they couldn’t casually go to restaurants anymore in fear of these types of things.
I'm sick and tired of new videos like these being spread every single day. It’s embarrassing.
"Why are you doing things like that?! I can’t understand it! It's infuriating!"
I felt the same way, and people in street interviews on the daily news were also all saying the same thing.
One day, while having dinner with a friend, the news came up in conversation, and she casually said, "I thought the people making the “nuisance videos” are “heiwaboke” in a way (a Japanese expression which means “taking peace for granted” or being blissfully ignorant thinking the world is always peaceful).
Immediately I reflexively said, "Huh?! Aren’t they the opposite of peaceful? What do you mean?!"
Here's her logic:
They believe they can do things like licking, putting their mouth, or contaminating their food because they know there wasn’t anyone before them to do such things. I mean sure, there’s a possibility that the person before them has done those things or that the dishes might be being washed in polluted water, but they choose to live in a parallel world where that sort of thing is impossible. I thought they must really think Japan is a sanitary country. If you think about it that way, is that not them being ‘heiwaboke’?”
That may be true. Otherwise, things like licking the teacup and/or arbitrarily mixing the seasonings, might not be possible for them.
These blissfully ignorant “heiwaboke” people are destroying the “peace” of eating out for the rest of us. Up until this video became big news, we thought, "This sort of thing is unthinkable in Japan." Just like them, we may be among the “heiwaboke” people who blindly trust Japan's sanitary environment.
I don't think that just because we all may be “heiwaboke,” all the disruptive behaviors that have come to light should be so easily forgiven.
In the first place, the trusted, hygienic environment of Japan, which each of us has maintained through good manners and morals, belongs to everyone. It shouldn’t be spoiled by a few selfish hands.
What's the use of destroying what everyone has made, making a lot of people sad, and making those who didn't do anything apologize?
Even a small child would be able to properly apologize if their soccer ball accidentally hit and destroyed a sandcastle that everyone made together in the park sandbox. Even if they hit and destroyed it by accident, they could reflect and understand what happened was bad, and many children wouldn’t do that kind of thing on purpose in the first place. These are ethics and morals that even a small child can understand. Don't destroy what other people have worked so hard to build and protect.
I was looking at a series of reports about these videos, and I started to think like this:
The young people who engaged in disruptive behavior were blissfully ignorant and trusted the sanitary environment, while at the same time, they wanted to stand out in the world of social media. In doing so, they might’ve lost sight of the basic judgment that they were doing something wrong and/or the fact it would hurt people. He may have mistaken his distorted sense of values for humor, saying, "This much is okay."
Perhaps each one of us may be unintentionally making people sad or hurting them with actions less conspicuous than those in the “nuisance videos” that we deemed to be “okay.” For example, things like not keeping the restroom clean when you use it, making the next person feel uncomfortable, or spilling a drink on the train and leaving it, adding extra work for the station staff.
This incident may be the result of the spread of social media along with the expansion of the maddening concept of “This much is okay" and “Just this much.” It’s certainly difficult for us to measure "this much" in a world full of opportunities where we don't know what will go viral.
The measure of “this much” in the phrase, "This much is okay", certainly differs from person to person.
It's the same as our values of happiness and the type of people we like, they all differ from person to person. These things also change generationally, but ethics and morals should be able to be shared with everyone without blaming certain generations.
"This much is okay."
I want to consider thoughts like, “Is this really okay? Would this be okay for someone who’s working hard to make this place better for everyone?" as much as possible.
Sushi chain limits conveyor belt use to orders after licking scandal. 2023. Japan Times. <https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/02/04/national/sushiro-sushi-terror-restaurants-japan/
Translated by Savannah Sutton
Edited by Emiru Okada
Graphic by Claudia MacPhail