America 2013: An unbecoming of a society.
(The Sociopolitical point of view of a 19 year old.)
I enjoy writing about my opinions about our society, take this as my personal account for these problems facing our american culture. Our dependency of the Internet, our pride, and our self image.
I. The abstract reality (The Internet)
Language was created in human's attempt to connect and communicate effectively with each other on a global scale. I believe the second greatest contribution to this goal was the Internet, a social bloom of world wide users sharing, and viewing data through an abstract space. The problem I see is the lack of mental presence in the real world, everything is now done online. People have their heads up their asses, I mean in their cellphones and in their tablets interacting more with people on their devices more than the people that are physically present with them. Photos in an album, doing research, attending school, school applications, job applications, job hunting, meeting friends, making friends, destroying friendships, and monetary transactions- all these things which required physical interaction with the world and people are replaced to do online. It has it's economic and social benefits, but on the other hand it has come to define our very society in which we become deathly dependent on. Let me elaborate this dependency.
Our society is no longer a part of 'the circle of life', money is what changed the rules of the game for us. Without money you can't even buy the essential needs for life, what kind of safety net of a society is that? Society was the safety net for the unpredictability of the wilderness where there was a struggle to survive. Now our monetary solution has become the reason we struggle to live. Even more now that money depends on the internet and machines, all of our money has become abstract with credit cards, debit cards, checks and gift cards. The internet has become as important as money. We are losing physical meaning with our own money, our own lives and our own work. Our physical work is no longer the equivalent of the money we get paid. We work long, hard hours to get barely enough to survive. Money was the value of our work, the harder and greater the quality of the work we produced the more money we'd get. Things no longer apply in a reasonable sense anymore as we once established when creating it's purpose. This is the modern flaw. We are losing touch with our physical reality through connecting with our abstract reality. Through our money, through our work, and through our interactions with people- this abstract world is consuming us and our society is addicted to it, we deathly depend on it.
II. The un-educated (Our Pride)
Many social movements become popular and eventually accepted through tolerance. The recent popular social movement is "Gay rights," and through time people will realize the discrimination, and oppression the Gay community received. Upon understanding, they will tolerate their difference and have peace. The same way people realized the civil right's movement was a step for humanity in attaining peace with each other. This is a social war, but a political and social war is much greater and complex. I predict the next popular social moment will be Vegetarian and Vegan rights against discrimination. Why? Simple, the obesity crisis will become overwhelmingly apparent. We glorify fattening, greasy food. Every culture is defined by their food, we are defined by hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, BBQ, deep fried food, meat, dairy, and most importantly bacon. People will mock, ridicule, disdain, belittle, and bitch about Vegans and Vegetarians because they have a healthy lifestyle that doesn't hurt anyone. As simple as that, because Vegans and Vegetarians don't give a fuck about what is popular, what is macho meat and bacon, and refuse to conform to a society who accepts and encourages an unhealthy diet. These citizen's hatred will (and are) fueled by big meat and dairy industries. Yet at the same time, these same industries are costing the citizens big bucks on health and the country is torn apart by health policies and problems facing these policies. Costing America 120 billion dollars each year. This has become a political and health issue on a painfully obvious global scale. The obesity crisis!
We see the cause on the media every hour, of every day, between every show, on every channel- commercials of fast food and meat. It is engraved in our culture to eat meat and unhealthy food, and there is not enough emphasis on eating vegetables, fruit or exercise. I believe the media has more of an impact on us than we would like to admit, our pride gets in the way of coming to terms with reality. We would like to believe we aren't easily influenced and can make our own choices...but in all truth when you are constantly bombarded by the media about something you begin to believe and accept it, eventually incorporating it into your own life. Monkey see, monkey do. The big meat and dairy industries are the puppet masters and anyone who has seen Food.inc, Super Size Me, or Forks over Knives would know. People know this but they are lazy! Lazy and fat is our stereotype for a damn obvious reason now, huh! People know so many things but don't act according to what they know, they don't make the knowledge a part of themselves. That's the whole point of knowledge, to change you and make you a educated person. The difference between someone who learned something and someone who is educated is the person who did something within themselves from what they learned. This society needs to wake up, but in the mean time it is costing fat people their lives, the money of this country and the future discrimination of vegans and vegetarians.
III. Religion (Our self-image)
Western society enjoys picking out the flaws in other countries. One of the main "flaws" we see in other countries is people fighting over religion (differences in beliefs). There will always be a difference in upbringing and therefore values, and belief. People will argue and even wage war for what they grew up believing is justice and truth. With that being said, we have our own flaws because the main religion in the western world is Christianity and we don't know how to deal with different religions because we don't have diverse neighbors (compared to Europe). Yet when we speak to others about tolerating each others differences, we become hypocrites because we pick n' choose what to accept and what to reject.
Religious people do this as much as Atheists, they like to pick at each others extremes and make assumptions about their lives due to what they believe. We feel so much ethical about ourselves when we assume so much about what others believe (religion). When I speak of religion I speak about a system of principles or beliefs that are guided by a deity. I believe that religion is not an excuse for justifying your actions, but rather it is as much of a reason as if someone was doing something in the name of their country, or in the name of their dead grandma. Reasons and motives are not exclusive to religious people, similarly how criticism and judgment isn't exclusively used by religious people. Everyone speak negatively about people that have done stupid, lazy, ignorant, naïve, fat, skinny, reckless, clumsy, guilty, evil things or people that are old and young. These things we criticize in other people are what we cannot accept we have the potential to be ourselves, for the sake of our own self image. These things aren't a person, a person isn't lazy but can do lazy things. These are not forever, people are constantly changing and not one of these things defines them. Truth is, everyone has the potential to be any of these things and more often than not, we will be all of these things one point in our lives. When we accept this, we are accepting ourselves and all the people around us. Even if they are on the other side of the world from us.
In conclusion this is what I see wrong with my side of the world. A society that is losing interaction with the physical world and depends on a abstract world. In witch people that are fat, lazy, unintelligent and feel the need to fix everyone else's lives but their own. People consumed by their pride in their culture, and with such confidence in their self image they don't believe they have to change. People consumed by the large corporations and industries, people consume these products, but consumed by the products they buy, these products consume them. People consumed by their beliefs, and the fixed idea that they are "civilized","modernized", and they are wrong! Even the oldest and wisest of civilizations don't got it figured out yet, because it is created by humans, it's not perfect and never will be.