Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hypnotic conformity: The social bombing of Americans (by anon)

Let’s face it - the majority of Americans are seduced by food, bad reality shows, new cars, magazines, flat screens, celebrities, fashion, physical appearances, and shitty sentimental rhetoric. Most people accept what they are told by the media. A lot of people think they have to be attractive and/or succeed financially (of course, what other kind of success is there?) to be honored or valued in society. Most people don’t have any idea of who they are or what they truly want, because they are constantly bombarded by stamps of society that work to define people and their needs artificially (mostly for the sake of capitalistic agendas, but that’s another story).

Most Americans are hypnotized by appearances, seeing substance and value in things like classy home décor and luxurious, pricey accessories to declare style and social worth. Many of us are instilled with values that have no use and thus no meaning. It's sad when people don’t see value in others who do not live up to social standards of excellence, as if those kinds of people are a disease of some sort. It is also sad when people can’t accept and are afraid of anything (or any person) that is different or unusual, or doesn’t seem to “fit in” with society, despite not being harmful at all. I want a society that embraces variety, differences, and uniqueness, a society in which it is customary to form actual relationships with the people we encounter, relationships that are soaked in meaning and sincerity instead of glossed with courtesy frosting (which eventually dries up and flakes off). I want a society that openly recognizes and understands that every individual is necessarily linked to everyone else, no matter the dress, physical traits, ethnicity, lifestyle, financial success, etc., because we’re all human, and we’re all products of differing life experiences, genetic makeup, and locations in space and time. I don’t want anything to take that uniqueness away from people, but every day in America we are constantly being stripped of and told to hide things that make us unique by being pressured to fit in and essentially forced to be molded into something we simply are not. And what bothers me more is that a lot of times, even when people try to be unique (because “unique” can be stylish too, you know), they are really adopting someone else’s idea (and bastardizing the whole concept) of uniqueness, rather than expressing their own true uniqueness. I’m tired of seeing more impressions of society in Americans than impressions of Americans in society.

We’ve got to realize that we don’t necessarily have to conform to survive, but the ideas shoved in our faces from the ruling class via the media are there to make us think otherwise. “They” want us to think that we need things we don’t need, “they” want us to think that we’re not OK the way we are without products to make us look better, and “they” want us to think that we have to make ourselves from the outside in and act the way society wants us to. Well I want to make one thing clear – we can only truly make ourselves from the inside out, and never the other way around. Once we know who we are on the inside, our selves will quickly take form on the outside, and we’ll never have to TRY to be anything. It is pretty cliché, but I’ll say it anyway: Find yourself, be true to yourself, and don’t buy in to what society is selling you if it doesn’t fit with who you really are.


  1. Damn dude, lighten up, its really not that bad. Its really okay to want to be attractive, that's why we wash our asses, and it's okay to want to be successful in life, that's one of the reasons I am in college. It's really okay to want to drive a new car, it beats walking. I commute from Madison to Whitewater and that is a long ass walk. Dude, society told me that I was a male. Society gave me my name. Society allow me to go to school. In short, I am who I am because of society. You are in college and are conforming to the game. What is your major? In short, we all conform to the rules. So go have a beer and lighten up.

    Dobbie Gillis, double major in biology and physics

    I am conforming and trying to maintain a 3 point average so I can conform and get a doctorate.

    1. Well you really missed the point, but ok.

    2. @413 lighten up or wake up? i can say i think he has a valid point however speaking of a world that simply will not exist because people fail to stand up for what they truly believe in. people simply need to choose for what they believe in and let the world come. Do what you love because you love it not because it will get you a good job, or the head cheerleader, or a sweet car. Remember your brother, sister, neighbour and friend and take care of them and support them because you love them. Fuck society and what it says. There is no one 'society' its all an illusion you create. Be your own reality.

  2. Define uniqueness please? But overall I agree with the post. I was already aware of this reality but you put it into words very well. I find the first comment to be quite comical with the usage of dude haha.


  3. Uniqueness, IMHO, is an inherent quality that every human being beholds, that being the quality of having a sum of life experiences and an overall perspective that is shared with no one else but one person, who lives as an entity apart from every other in the world, having a specific, one-of-a-kind location in space and time. What tends to obstruct a person's uniqueness is treatment received by societal institutions, which is prescribed as though individuals are no different than every other individual. Fashion trends, music, television, religion, and lifestyle choices are generally thought of as choices that individuals are free to make for themselves, but when individuals are given prescriptions by media outlets, churches, and even schools, it becomes more and more difficult for one to truly appeal to one's own personal values, or even manifest them in the first place, because society is structured in a way that lumps individuals together, limits exposure to multiple perspectives, and attempts to impress everyone with a certain set of beliefs and ideals that lead individuals to act and think in certain ways to work in favor of the ruling class. It could be beneficial for individuals and society as a whole to critically assess their own beliefs and ideals, and analyze them in order to understand why they are held as true and valuable. I think it is important for people to become aware of the rubber stamps that bombard individuals daily, the stamps that tell us what we should eat and how we should dress, what we should drive and what music we should listen to, what we should consider important and valuable, what we should care about and what we should live for, and the list goes on and on. Maybe if people could wake up and just take the time to learn more about the world around them, think for themselves, and let go of their pride and their will to power, there would be less problems and less conflict in the world.

  4. All we are is dust in the wind, if I can sing a little song.

    We are nothing but a social entity. There is no such thing as a unique individual. You take away the rubber stamp and there's nothing left, but "dust in the wind."

  5. Well I'll agree that we are all social entities, and without stamps from society there isn't anything left, but you're talking about deeper impressions from society, such as language, conversation, hygiene, morality, etiquette, and other major societal impressions that go very deep and are essential in our being human. But I'm not talking about those kinds of social norms/pressures. I'm talking about the surface-level kinds that are pushed harmfully in our faces and force fed to us so we choose to live a certain way and purchase crap we never really need at the expense of everyone but the ruling class. And we're given the idea that we can be defined by finite things - that we can create who we are from outside materials. I guess what I should really focus on is consumerism and the way that we're made to believe we need to buy stuff to make us who we are, instead of just being who we are, and then buying stuff according to our personal tastes and needs. I think we are unique individuals who have unique sets of all kinds of different tastes and needs, but people are constantly tricked into thinking they have a certain taste or need for something that they never would have if they weren't told that's what they should have a taste/need for.