I don't have any virtues to signal, and I'm somewhat baffled by the phenomenon. As you may have noticed, I'm not one to care overmuch what people who don't know me think of me, and I can't be arsed with false modesty or simpering. But I don't get particularly animated about other people doing it.
It's a form of sentimentality isn't it?
In what sense? I think it's about wanting to belong, there's often a sheep like aspect to social media behaviour, looking for affirmation from your peers.
In answer to Snee, Is it harmless? In the main probably. I guess the danger is it encourages superficial responses rather than actively seek change.
It's like sentimentality in allowing you to enjoy a feeling – of being righteous, or included as you say – without actually being moved to usefulaction. But, as I said, I find the concept baffling, as it tends to be applied to many different behaviours and situations, and has almost become a shorthand for anything from rank hypocrisy through humble-bragging and smuggery to someone clicking Like on facebook
I'm not big on it. After 9/11, a woman at my work place gathered other workers outside one afternoon to light candles for the victims. I chose not to participate.
No one bugged me about it, but I don't like being bullied or pushed into a collective anything and I'll celebrate and grieve how I choose.
That's' how I feel. The whole "Clap for the NHS" thing exemplifies this here in the UK. I think it's now starting to wind down, but over the last few weeks I've not felt the need to clap. I did at the start as it was a nice gesture and they were under intense strain.
There have been a few social media comments in my town about people who didn't clap and that was just fucking stasi-like.
I think celebrities doing this pretty much defines "virtue signalling". Some of them might be sincere and devote a lot to political causes, but quite a few will be doing it to look good.
What celebrities do you follow as a matter of interest?
It would take me too long to list them. Lady Gaga, Ronnie Wood, Mark E's last wife, Juliette Lewis, Rooney Mara, Paddy Considine, Pere Ubu, Rihanna, some cats and dogs and goldfish and chocolate makers and bakers and TV shows and probably Bob Hope and Frank Carson and and and
I agree that this kind of behaviour absolutely defines 'virtue signalling'. That's why I mentioned it. It's perfect.
"I'm not sure whether people who are against it don't believe it exists, or dislike the term"
this was my intention in starting the thread. I dislike the term.
it has quickly become, like "political correctness" a term that is used by people who don't agree with me.
they use it the way Peter Cushing uses a crucifix in a Hammer vampire movie.
Friend or Associate: I think what TRUMP is doing is great because TRUMP is doing it!
Good Ol' All American Sneelock: I think what TRUMP is doing is terrible for the following reasons. (graph and charts provided on request)
Friend or Associate: none of your reasons are sound. you are just VIRTUE SIGNALLING.
this is where the conversation deteriorates. According to them I just want to appear that I care about the things I say I care about.I think this is an increasing and dishonest short-hand and I think it is high time to nip it in the bud.
I care about the things I care about. "virtue signalling" is quickly replacing "politically correct" as a way of saying "no, you don't". well, that's horse shit. take "the n-word". If I don't use it or wince when the word is used I am accustomed to being called "politcally correct" by certain types. this is not correct. I don't use that word because I choose not to use it. Me, of all people... I love using sentence enhancers and I've got a bagful of reasons that I don't use that one. well, now we have "virtue signalling". the person can tell me not only that the way I act is chosen by others but that I do it just for the way it makes me look to others.
the short(er) version: of course people do silly & show-offy things to make themselves look good. they always have and they always will. still, the phrase "virtue signalling" - like "polically correct" has become a rhetorical crutch and a dishonest one IMO.
As John says, it can be taking an opportunity to show you care. It's not very different from giving money to a good cause and telling the world about what you did. To me it's slightly offsetting but on the other side, they give money so some are helped and what do we care they brag about it?
What rubs everyone the wrong way is people putting stuff on social media where they are not doing anything other than the bragging, pointing out that we hadn't thought it but, really, they are a Gutmensch.
I think the real issue here is the role of a celebrity or 'influencer' that social media produces. Every statement or stance they make on anything can be duplicated through the wires and become a commodity to their brand with or without their intention, so of course it's going to potentially come across as inauthentic.
The idea of the term is definitely warranted when it's corporations or formal bodies co-opting issues for their own benefit. That Pepsi advert with Kendall Jenner comes first to mind. But when it's just Joe Bloggs using a hashtag on twitter.... *shrugs*.
You do also get a sheep-like tendency among people who unthinkingly adopt the latest Facebook profile picture frame ('I stand with Paris') when there's some kind of tragedy. Nothing harmful of course, but exasperating when you scroll down your news feed and see half your friends have done this, many of whom never expressed any kind of interest in these things at all in the past. Call it 'virtue signalling' if you want - that's a good example as far as I understand it - I just think it's annoying.