We all get a feeling of satisfaction from seeing a wrongdoer get a little piece of what they deserve. “Instant Karma” videos are an entire genre in the streaming video medium, with obvious good guys and bad guys cast in real-life scenarios in which rudeness is swiftly dealt with.
Which is why some low-res, grainy CCTV footage from a Chongqing apartment complex elevator has gone viral globally. In the video, we see a young boy wearing a thick coat enter an elevator alone. Suddenly and inexplicably, he goes number one all over the control panel, saturating it. What happens next cements the video as “Instant Karma” gold, because the elevator quickly malfunctions, with floor buttons flashing and the door struggling to open.
As the boy panics, clearly regretting his impulsive decision, he’s plunged into darkness as the overhead lights turn off. (Don’t worry, the boy was rescued and is fine)
The video first became viral through Weibo, with tens of thousands of comments on the first post, and eventually ended up on the People’s Daily and Global Times websites. Netizens’ reactions were mixed, to say the least. Although there is clearly humor in the situation, we’ve read enough China-focused articles over the years to know what is commonly referred to as “Little Emperor Syndrome” when we see it.
Most of the netizens were condemning the parents with comments like “his family should be ashamed of how they educated him,” and suggestions that the parents should be responsible for damages. Other, more sympathetic, comments mentioned that many Chinese kids have such high social pressures to achieve, so they use small ways to act out or rebel. A few other commentators marveled at his aim and distance, as he could even hit the top of the panel with his powerful stream.
Why the boy did it, I guess we’ll never know. We feel bad that this particular experience is now on his permanent record in a sense. We live in a different world today where anything we do could be recorded on CCTV cameras and then immediately shared with the masses over numerous social media platforms. It’s important to teach your kids this valuable, albeit scary, lesson: that surveillance is all around us, and even taking a wee in an unsanctioned area can have lifelong consequences.
In any case, let’s hope that with all this embarrassment, that he’s learned his lesson. Or at least he’ll just start taking the stairs.