My biggest pet peeve ever is the usage of overgeneralizations. By using them, you round up everything; you are creating a statement about to be true about a specific population. I find most of these statements are usually harmless in nature, but they have a chance to create a false image of someone who has yet to define whether or not they follow that statement.
For example, you could be talking about “this generation” and how they fall under the category of the “snowflake generation” which states that those who are aligned with that population are supposed to think they are all special, just like every single snowflake.
Now for some people of that “snowflake generation,” this might be true. Perhaps these people were told by their parents or their teachers or whoever that they are all special and unique in their own individual ways. This group of people who are under the false assumption that they are greater because someone is giving them validation may get bashed by people, but the people doing so will group everyone in their immediate age group together, which as said previously, may create a false image for those who don’t believe they belong in that group.
Overgeneralization can be taken to further lengths. Let’s say we have two people, Person A and Person B. Person A does something Person B really dislikes. Person B will now associate anyone who might share remote qualities with Person A and have an immediate disdain towards those who share those qualities.
We see overgeneralizations a lot in American culture. As of late, we see it a lot in politics. “Republicans are so ____” and “Democrats are so ____.” For people who belong to those groups, this "____" may in fact be true for some of them, but not all. Can you firmly say an entire group of people who may be blanketed under the same party follow exactly the same rules and morals as the other? If you think you can, well, you can’t. There’s no possible way to think any group of people are exactly the same. They would all have to be the same person.
The biggest set of overgeneralizations that people would be most familiar with are stereotypes. They can bring stigmas to any group of people, which I believe hurt way more than they might help, if they could help at all.
Now, if you were to use overgeneralization or “blanket statements” for lack of a better term, I automatically think less of you. When I see/hear people using them, I feel as if there is a portion of ignorance that they are sporting because they don’t have all the facts in their arsenal. For me it runs along the same vein as someone using false statistics to further their claim without any proof that the numbers are correct.
So what do you think about the usage of overgeneralization? Is it useful for getting a point across or is it actually hurting the people who use it?