The Issue of Social Conditioning and the Unthinking Masses

Sketch of tv stating I own you

“The most depraved type of human being … (is) the man without a purpose.” (‘Atlas Shrugged’ 1957)

What’s up everybody.

Today I wanted to write about the widespread issue in modern society of social conditioning and how through the mainstream it’s created a generation of complacent, ignorant, insecure people, who are totally out of touch with reality and the way the world works.

Pretty harsh statement, but to a certain degree, that’s exactly what’s going on and it’s something that needs to be addressed.  I’m going to use the phrase ‘unthinking masses’ as a generalization that encompasses all the negative traits created by our stimulation obsessed society, and it’s lack of depth in anything.

I believe that everyone has both positive and negative traits and at different times, function from different levels of their own personalities.  No one is all good, or all evil.  And in the same way, no one is completely unthinking, or totally self-actualized.  It’s a spectrum, and where an individual falls on that spectrum varies.  It also can change over time.

Alright, now lets get into profiling the ‘unthinking masses’.  How can you tell if someone is part of the unthinking masses?  Well in extreme scenarios they may have a glazed over look in their eyes and can’t maintain any sign of intelligence if engaged in conversation.  But most often the symptoms are much more subtle.

If you’re part of the unthinking masses, you probably spend 20+ hours a week in front of the TV.  A large portion of this time is spent watching an endless number of advertisements designed to target the kind of person who is, well, simple.  Infomercials are the best example of this.

Through the use of a few basic psychological principles, they’re able to take some cheap piece of crap you’ll most likely never use, and have you on the phone making a purchase.  But that’s not all, because once they have you in a buying mood on the phone, they will proceed to up sell you with many other “exclusive offers” until you’ve agreed to give them much more money than you had initially intended.  No big deal though, you’ll hardly notice this slight increase to your minimum monthly credit card payment.

So not everyone who watches too much TV falls for simple marketing tactics.  But instead they might spend their time concerned with some random person they’ve never met, but this person is constantly shown on their TV screen and everyone else seems to like them, so they become interested.  Obviously this person on TV leads a much more interesting life than someone who does nothing more than watch TV, so the viewer is going to become obsessed with the events that take place in the lives of some random celebrity.  If they tell me enough times that this person is relevant and I should be interested, then it must be important. A constructive use of time and a very legitimate concern, if I may say so.

There is no depth to anything on TV.  You can argue that the history channel, or science channel, or any educational station is an exception to the rule, but if you were truly interested in any of these subjects, you could easily learn much more, with some actual depth, if you were to spend your time reading a book on that topic, commercial free.

The unthinking masses love to be entertained and they love drama.  They love to be distracted from reality. They accomplish this through an obsession with reality TV, professional sports, the latest ‘breaking news’ selected and hand fed to them by our lovely controlled media.  Their focus is kept locked in on what boils down to NOTHING. But this is the way they choose to spend their free time. And their lives stagnate because of it.  To quote Tony Robbins, most people major in minor things.

They never learn anything new.  They never develop new skills. They never challenge themselves.  They never pursue their passions and they’re totally unaware of what’s really going on in the world.  They never have any new, meaningful life experiences of their own.  Their interests are totally limited because they don’t even realize anything interesting even exists without the TV showing it to them.

So what’s the end result? A mass number of totally unaware, complacent, ignorant people who are easy to control.  They stay out of the way of those who have a purpose and agenda, whether positive, or negative.  They’re easily manipulated and influenced through propaganda, advertisements, and other forms of social conditioning.

If they spent those 20+ hours a week reading, learning a new skill set, getting an education, developing a business, learning how to invest, writing, working out, studying anything that interested them personally for a few decades of their lives, what kind of people do you think they would have become?  But instead all that time was wasted on nothing.

So now they’re knowledge and life experience is very limited.  They don’t understand why their lives are so unfulfilling and average at best.  They have no purpose, no goals, and no passion for life.  They just accept what they’ve always known and take it day by day.  They’re insecure, too worried about the brand of clothes they wear, what they look like, the kind of car they drive, and what other people think of them, to ever stop and analyze what they think of themselves, what they value, or what’s important to them.

It’s an absolute shame to think that so many people have lived out their lives this way and never realized that all they had to do was WAKE UP.  Life is too short to waste time.  Your physical existence is so short that you have to live every moment to the fullest.

Don’t put off your dreams or goals.  Make sure everything you do serves some sort of purpose.  Success takes time, experience and it requires you to fail.  But you learn from those failures and become stronger as you overcome each one.  Don’t leave any room for regret in your life.  Take risks and stay focused on what really matters to you.  Make sure you’re fully aware of what matters to you and can define that as clearly as possible.

You need to have a vision for your life and a plan for making that a reality.  Where do you want to be this time next year?  Where do you want to be in 5 years?  Where do you plan on being 20 years from now?  If you don’t have a answer to these questions, how are you going to know what direction to be moving in your day, to day life?

Maybe you don’t have a specific detailed plan for where you want to be 10 years from now, but you need to at least have something to strive for.  I want to be totally out of debt 10 years from now, I want to own my own home, I want to have traveled the world, I want to learn how to cook well and eat clean, I want to invest in commercial real estate, or commodities, or learn to day trade.

You have to have direction and you have to have a purpose. Otherwise you’ll be content wasting your life sitting around as a spectator.  Then one day you’ll realize you wasted something precious and invaluable.  Something irreplaceable.  Your time.  This is all you get and all you ever will get, so choose wisely on how you will spend it.  It’s up to you, and you alone.

Everything is fine in moderation.  Entertainment and TV can be a nice way to relax for a few minutes here an there.  Or maybe you do have a TV show that really brings you enjoyment.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  Just don’t let entertainment and mindless channel surfing monopolize your life.  The same goes for aimless web surfing, video games, and any other arbitrary garbage you may use to kill time on your smart phone.  Put it down and get a life before it’s too late.

“Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don’t you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can’t think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you’re supposed to read? Do you think everything you’re supposed to think? Buy what you’re told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned- Tyler.” -Fight Club

Note:  For more on finding your purpose check out SoLongMediocrity.  Lastly, please connect with me on both facebook, and twitter if you haven’t already.

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Andy RandonThe Issue of Social Conditioning and the Unthinking Masses

7 Comments on “The Issue of Social Conditioning and the Unthinking Masses”

  1. Larissa

    Hey, you totally hit the nail! I like your dramatic illustration because from time to time I feel like I really need some wake-up call to stop that widespread disease from infecting me…like those “unthinking” faces in the subway…I especially get aware of it after returning from abroad where expats who got somewhere on purpose hang out together..and then, back home, I just feel like shaking everybody to make them think!

  2. Andy Randon

    I had that experience recently Larissa. There’s something about being in a place where so much is happening and people are succeeding and when you return home to a smaller town you just see complacent people living routine lives and there’s nothing wrong with that but when you want to live your life to the fullest it can be frustrating. You don’t want to get sucked into that mind set and it’s much easier to avoid doing so when you have a group of people on the same page. Sort of what I was hoping to get out of this blog. My content will resonate with those type of people and hopefully we can keep each other on the right path!

  3. Nick

    This is all so true and very important. I see this firsthand with a few of my friends and they really don’t seem to have any direction. It makes me sad but usually people like this won’t listen to anything you have to say to them. Maybe we should just sneak fight club on to all of their TVs, then they will listen

  4. Andy Randon

    Haha the problem is ideas like this are so outside their reality that they don’t even register. They’re too plugged into the system. You can’t help everyone. You can only present objective statements to influence them and hope something gets through.

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