Politics…why opinions form and stick

You all have seen the recent political environment in the US.  Things are just out of sync these days; although I personally like think this is how the media portrays the environment.  This is certainly a non-partisan post, but don’t roll your eyes at me just yet.  It is non-partisan because I hold no labels—I’m a Psychology PhD major—I feel “funny” when I hear my name compared to something else (unless I call it to myself).  The point is that today, things tend to be captured in images and pictures.  If you look at many of the social media platforms, the end result is a salad of your life captured in:

  • Catchy memes (that express how you feel at the very moment that you post them)
  • Pictures
  • Pictures accompanied with a phrase
  • Pictures accompanied by a quote
  • Songs
  • Videos
  • Emojies
  •  Most recently…live video feeds that you can do from your different technology
  • More to come (I guess; I’m no technology guru)

It seems to me that our country goes through these “flavor of the moment” phases where we decide that a certain topic will be all the hotness and we literally lose our minds over the subject.  Now, to clarify:  I am not stating that these things are not important.  My statement comes from taking a step back and thinking whether we are treating each one of these circumstances objectively.  Is there an end to these things?  This is where we evaluate whether we need to be part of these activities or not.

  • What are the results sought?  If you hear things like “to get attention” or “to develop brotherhood/sisterhood,” “to show that I am tired of it,” and so forth.  These are signs that you may need to think about it a bit deeper.  In the end, we all want RESULTS that provide a true change.  Getting attention is find, but will the RESULTS show?
    • EXAMPLE:  I once joined a group that brainstormed ideas, discussed the purpose of something that we wanted to change at an Executive level, and were able to write a law that was actually enacted by the President.  He does not know who we are by name, but these activities truly changed the course of certain laws affecting the low to middle class workforce.
    • What am I saying here?  I would say, personally, that thinking and pairing your brains with people that are willing to work intellectually towards a goal can be so much more rewarding in the end.

Also, take into consideration who is relating the information to you.  I have seen in many platforms celebrities as the main source of inspiration and information.  Listen, a celebrity has a job and it is usually to promote something, sing, act, and most importantly…promote themselves.  Research your sources with an open mind and a neutral mindset.  Do not believe everything a political party has to say about a topic (haha…okay, you knew this already!).  Having an open mind to make your own assessments does not make you ignorant, on the contrary, it puts you above all individuals that respond emotionally to popular topics.  Perception becomes reality, isn’t that something?  But it certainly does not have to be this way.  If you live in the US, then you know that at least you are entitled to believe, think, express, and do whatever you please (as long as you don’t violate someone’s rights).

What is the tangible end result?  Be yourself.

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