"If your friends told you to jump off a bridge would you" is a bad analogy that should stop being used.

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Socreta93

Senior Member
Jul 28, 2015
2,183
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#1
I understand why people say it but I think it's an extreme example. I remember back in middle school, we will always have to lineup before we get out of the building. I was first in line and someone asked me to open the door because it was hot. I did, the teacher then scolded me asking why I opened the door. I said I was asked and she asked me "if they asked you to jump off a bridge, would you", I don't remember if I responded or not but when I got older I liked that question less and less. Of course I would not jump off a bridge. That is stupid, jumping off a bridge and opening a door are two different things. I don't see the point of being asked that, it removes context from the current situation, people will obvious not jump of a bridge, unless it was 2 feet tall or it was a life or death situation. Opening a door to let some air in because it is hot is not the same as being asked to jump off a tall bridge. Does anyone understand what the point of this is and why it's used as a learning tool for children?
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
3,847
1,672
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#3
I would answer her with:

"Sure,
People bungie jump and base jump off of bridges all the time...it's fun stuff. Heck I'd even volunteer to do it.
"

Of course I got in trouble a lot too. So following my example probably is not wise. But I usually have no fear of meeting sarcasm with smart alec replies.
 

Cameron143

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2022
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#4
How high is the bridge? We assume it's high but it needn't be? What's below the bridge? Is it water? How deep is the water? Is it possible to get a rope to swing out over the water before dropping in?
I say keep the phrase and just ask questions, get more information. If the person gets annoyed by the questions, just point out you are naturally curious and are very appreciative of the opportunity they have provided to develop your reasoning skills.
Actually, such questions are designed to teach lessons quickly. It is usually done by impatient teachers who don't see the value of taking the time to actually train those in their care. There is an element of shame attached to their question as a measure of intimidation to gain compliance.
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
20,244
5,835
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#5
My first day in school, I returned home immediately. My mother asked why I had already come home, and I replied, "One of the big kids told me to go home.

I was taught to obey my elders, and at that time someone older, even at eleven was my elder.................but even so I would not have jumped off of a bridge.

Mom explained all to me and I was back in school that same day.
 

Kraken

New member
Dec 19, 2022
9
6
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#6
Parents love this question. They think it is so smart.

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Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
21,981
6,735
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#7
Parents love this question. They think it is so smart.

View attachment 247873
Rats. Somebody beat me to it.

Ah well. If somebody else already took the xkcd one I intended to use, I shall have to resort to quoting Dilbert.

"Mom can I go skateboarding at the construction site?"

"No."

"Why not? Everyone else does it."

"If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you do it?"

"Well that would depend on many factors, such as conditions at the bottom of the cliff, training and equipment. But if 100% of the people who tried it said they enjoyed it, as in my skateboarding example, then I would conclude it was safe.

"A better question might have been, if everyone wore clothes, would you wear them?"
 

Moses_Young

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2019
5,246
2,913
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#8
Maybe the modern day equivalent should be "If every else took an experimental covid vaccine because the government said covid-19 was real and dangerous and the experimental covid vaccine was safe, would you take the experimental vaccine?"

At least it's the sort of question that invites further discussion. "How reliable is this government's track record?" "What is the liability on the government if any of what it said was a lie?" "How many people has the vaccine been tested on?" "How much does this vaccine cost, anyway?" "Why is the government threatening to cancel the employment of those who refuse to take the vaccine, if covid-19 is so deadly and the vaccine is so safe?" "Why did the government need to hire a whole media propaganda outfit if this medicine works and covid-19 is so deadly?" "Why is the government paying media outlets to stifle debate if the government believes in "the science"?" "Why are people preferring to lose their employment than take a "safe vaccine" that is going to "save their lives"?" "Who is making money in all of this?"
 

Socreta93

Senior Member
Jul 28, 2015
2,183
300
83
#9
Maybe the modern day equivalent should be "If every else took an experimental covid vaccine because the government said covid-19 was real and dangerous and the experimental covid vaccine was safe, would you take the experimental vaccine?"

At least it's the sort of question that invites further discussion. "How reliable is this government's track record?" "What is the liability on the government if any of what it said was a lie?" "How many people has the vaccine been tested on?" "How much does this vaccine cost, anyway?" "Why is the government threatening to cancel the employment of those who refuse to take the vaccine, if covid-19 is so deadly and the vaccine is so safe?" "Why did the government need to hire a whole media propaganda outfit if this medicine works and covid-19 is so deadly?" "Why is the government paying media outlets to stifle debate if the government believes in "the science"?" "Why are people preferring to lose their employment than take a "safe vaccine" that is going to "save their lives"?" "Who is making money in all of this?"
You really had to randomly go there?
 

Moses_Young

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2019
5,246
2,913
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#10
You really had to randomly go there?
You think it was random? And besides, doesn't it provoke more questions? I mean, who really wants to jump off a bridge, even if it's on fire? Some punk kid, maybe? But how did the bridge get set on fire at both ends, in order that your only safe option was to jump off? Were you playing with matches? Again? Didn't I already tell you not to play with fire? ... :)
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
3,847
1,672
113
#11
You really had to randomly go there?
It's a mental health issue at this point.
Schizophrenia is a combination of biological and environmental factors....

Some people's genetics lean towards mental health issues but because they mingled regularly with sane people, didn't abuse drugs enough, or focus too much on mentally unhealthy topics they have been "normal ".

Enter the quarantines; bored people glued themselves to too much social media bubbles of fear mongers. They got shoved over the edge and the genetic predisposition for Schizophrenia has taken over. Their whole world is now colored by the topic of politics and vaccines. Some are now even having hallucinations involving auditory and visual centers of their brains. Some aren't.
But many of them who are having mental health problems are here on this site.

People stewed in their own crazy too much and can't wash it out much like a sweat stained t-shirt will never smell good again.
 

ResidentAlien

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2021
4,727
1,888
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#12
My parents used to say this a lot and I'm thankful they did. It stuck and has served me well over the years.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
21,981
6,735
113
#13
Maybe the modern day equivalent should be "If every else took an experimental covid vaccine because the government said covid-19 was real and dangerous and the experimental covid vaccine was safe, would you take the experimental vaccine?"

At least it's the sort of question that invites further discussion. "How reliable is this government's track record?" "What is the liability on the government if any of what it said was a lie?" "How many people has the vaccine been tested on?" "How much does this vaccine cost, anyway?" "Why is the government threatening to cancel the employment of those who refuse to take the vaccine, if covid-19 is so deadly and the vaccine is so safe?" "Why did the government need to hire a whole media propaganda outfit if this medicine works and covid-19 is so deadly?" "Why is the government paying media outlets to stifle debate if the government believes in "the science"?" "Why are people preferring to lose their employment than take a "safe vaccine" that is going to "save their lives"?" "Who is making money in all of this?"
No, no, no...

Ignoring for the moment the distressing propensity some people have for hijacking even the most dissociated topics and wrenching them around to a personal favorite rant: This is not even an accurate analogy.

A much closer analogy would be, "If all your friends were lazy enough to buy iphones without putting any energy into finding a phone that fit their personal use cases, would you buy an iphone?"

(Yes that's one of my favorite hobby-horses. You got your vaccine rant in, I got a jab in at people who just buy whatever is popular.)
 

Subhumanoidal

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2018
3,239
2,593
113
#14
I understand why people say it but I think it's an extreme example. I remember back in middle school, we will always have to lineup before we get out of the building. I was first in line and someone asked me to open the door because it was hot. I did, the teacher then scolded me asking why I opened the door. I said I was asked and she asked me "if they asked you to jump off a bridge, would you", I don't remember if I responded or not but when I got older I liked that question less and less. Of course I would not jump off a bridge. That is stupid, jumping off a bridge and opening a door are two different things. I don't see the point of being asked that, it removes context from the current situation, people will obvious not jump of a bridge, unless it was 2 feet tall or it was a life or death situation. Opening a door to let some air in because it is hot is not the same as being asked to jump off a tall bridge. Does anyone understand what the point of this is and why it's used as a learning tool for children?
The purpose was to discourage children from blindly following, and instead think about their choices. Just because someone else is doing something, does that mean it's a good idea?
But the message has become lost and misapplied over the years. The problem is not the metaphor, but rather the lazy way people use it.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
19,944
6,434
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#15
Teachsrs just want to be in control of their class, is probably why they use this cliched phrase.

If the teacher told you to jump off the bridge, you might have to do it. If anything bad happened to you you could blame it on the teacher.
 

ChrisTillinen

Active member
Sep 16, 2022
179
108
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#16
I think the point is just "You should not try to delegate responsibility for your decisions to someone else. Even if others asked you to do it, you chose to do it." Jumping off the bridge is just an extreme example to drive home the point. It's open to misuse but I think it can be useful in some situations.

But I would like to see a comedy skit where someone is instructed to jump off a bridge for a very good reason in a situation where that's the only thing that makes sense. That person would continue to resist while the situation got increasingly worse just because he remembered this piece of wisdom from his childhood.
 

Thusiserve

Active member
Nov 8, 2022
164
124
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#17
It may have it's uses. I think it really revolves around common sense. "How much common sense does a child have?", is a loaded question.
As has already been stated here, it's still a lazy tool from a parent that didn't put in enough effort to explain exactly what they were concerned about.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
19,944
6,434
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#18
Are they REALLY your friends if they told you to jump off a bridge though?

I dont think a true friend would say 'go on, kill yourself'

We have enough suicides already, dont need to keep mentioning ways to die.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
21,981
6,735
113
#19
The purpose was to discourage children from blindly following, and instead think about their choices. Just because someone else is doing something, does that mean it's a good idea?
But the message has become lost and misapplied over the years. The problem is not the metaphor, but rather the lazy way people use it.
Yes, which means my iphone analogy IS the most congruent. :cool:
 

gb9

Senior Member
Jan 18, 2011
10,484
5,641
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#20
Are they REALLY your friends if they told you to jump off a bridge though?

I dont think a true friend would say 'go on, kill yourself'

We have enough suicides already, dont need to keep mentioning ways to die.
very good points.