When I explain to family and friends that I am prepping because of 1. Loss of a job, 2. Hyperinflation, 3. Economic instability, it makes more sense to them. And this is exactly why I prep anyway. I don't believe that this country will ever go to crap, but I do believe in personal SHTF scenarios. If the economy doesn't rebound soon, we could see a loss of jobs. Also, it's no surprise that food prices are going up and will be higher next year. So, I'm stockpiling food because if gas prices continue to rise, then I may not have money for food. As for ammunition, I enjoy plinking so I am stocking up to some degree because of the fear that ammo prices may rise sharply next year. But I don't believe we're all going to be running around like Mad Max so my "stock" of ammo isn't very much compared to what some people say they have on here. I just like to plink and do a little hunting.
But again, prepping for realistic scenarios is why I prep. I guess it depends on what your prepping for. If your telling them your prepping because of the impending Zombie Alien Apocalypse, then I'd suspect people wouldn't understand that.