Or to express it a bit more politely, how much do you think we are influenced and conditioned by the society we live in?
By living a normal life within our society, one can be excused for being sucked in; the overriding influencing information channels have seriously tilted our understanding of reality.
We are subjected and influenced by the information we receive, consciously and sub-consciously on a daily basis.
How can we determine what is real, and what is motivated by questionable motives?
The info we 'accept' subconsciously is particularly discerning.
By example, if a certain group of people behaves in a certain way, it may become the norm of behaviour that people subconsciously follow without noticing.
The celebrity cult can be seen as an example, people who are sucked in, show signs of pretending to be celebrities themselves and behave in similar ways.
Lets take it for granted that we are all conditioned somehow, and living in a distorted reality, now, what can we do about that?
I used the term “holistic”, because we are influenced and conditioned on all perceivable levels, and therefore we have to have “reality checks” on all levels as well, and if it is on all levels, it is whole, or holistic.
Reality checks help us to stay aware and prevent being “sucked in”.
We succumb particularly to influences, which present as the loudest and most obvious on a daily basis.
THE POLITICAL SYSTEM
Our politicians and their messages are presented to us on a daily dose of news items. We hardly can get away from it, and because most political interaction seems toxic, and against decent human behaviour, we could be "sucked" in to believe, even on a subconscious level that such behaviour is the normal way people should behave. Aggression, objection, opposition, disrespect, winning at all cost, deceiving, spinning and pretending are obviously not behaviours to adopt, and certainly can't function as role models for younger people.
Reality check questions:
Are you believing or behaving like politicians? Excepting their promises or behaviours as the norm, if yes you have been sucked in. :-)
Are you consciously or subconsciously emulating politicians behaviour, such as:
Do you lie, do you promise and not deliver, or do you deceive for political or personal gains?
Do you withhold the truth?
Do you tend to make people feel bad, in order to feel good yourself?
In discussions, do you use personal attacks to deflect away from the real topic?
Do you habitually oppose everything?
Are you righteous, insisting that you are right and therefore everyone else must be wrong?
Do you believe, that only one ideology (reality) is the right one?
Does the fear of loosing an election, or an argument, is the main motivation for your conduct?
Do you believe politicians and their political ideas or ideologies?
… and, although the term "role model" seems outdated, its associated effects still influences people, esp. the young.
Do you think, that politicians are suitable role models, considering their undesirable social behaviour?
The media outlets, ranging from newspapers to television, and everything in-between including social media, have gigantic influences within our social system.
It is hard to find factual unbiased reporting and information.
By example, the possibility of the news influencing us the way we may vote within our democratic system is scary. The constant negativity, personal attacks and sensational reporting is not a reflection of reality, even so by societies reaction to the news, it may well become reality, meaning society as a whole may become more aggressive, negative, attention seeking, disillusioned and misbehaving.
Another effect of the constant violent or negative news is the disassociation from that particular section of reality. Yes, certainly we do have traumatic news everyday, but by over dramatizing, we may have become desensitize.The world is full of good news as well, every day on every level; good positive reality is created, but hardly ever reported.
Does the media influences your behaviour?
Do you believe in what you read or hear in the news?
Are you aware that the news content has been dramatized or even falsified in order for greater impact and newsworthiness?
Are you reacting to the news with specific behaviours, such as becoming afraid, taking sides without knowing all the facts?
Are you influenced to act a certain way, vote a certain way, and believe according to what the mainstream news wants you to believe?
In your conversation with other people, is repeating news stories one of your main subjects?
Do you take sides, defending news opinions as your own?
Are your main information and beliefs come from news channels?
Do you dramatize or exaggerate your own conversation or stories?
Do you gossip about other people?
Do you read gossip magazines? Do you believe the content?
Are you sucked in, in any way? :-)
MARKETING & ADVERTISING
The factual truth is, that most marketing and advertising is simply a way to sell something, with no, or little regard of the real quality or usefulness of what is sold. Selling includes; a product or an idea, a policy or even a religion.
The second aspect of marketing is that we are all selling something, if you go for a job interview, you are marketing, advertising and selling yourself.
Reality check: Are you behaving like you are marketing yourself?
Do you believe advertising?
Do you recognised product placement marketing?
If you see a food product advertisement, do you believe that product must be good otherwise they wouldn't show it?
Do you buy products / ideologies you see advertised?
Do you believe that the actors who are featured in the adverts believe in those products?
On what basis do you make your product choices?
If you do eat junk food, why do you eat it, because it is advertised?
Do you defend your product choices?
In political advertising, do you believe the negative message about the other party?
Do you believe election promises?
Do you think advertising should be more regulated, to protect people from making the wrong choices?
There are obviously many more systems that should be included, such as: Parental System, Education, Ideology, Religion, "Fake News".
The list of influences within our society is endless; and as more we become aware of those influences as better we can guard ourselves against it.
As a rule of thumb; think twice before accepting something as true, always ask yourself:
Please contact me directly for more info or Research Participation: Dieter L. - Editor