This I Believe

Ryan - Lagrange, Illinois
Entered on October 4, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Our Own Thoughts?

I believe that the world today is made up of only a small fraction of the population’s thoughts. No matter your: age, race, class, gender, place of origin, or hair color, you cannot make it through one hour of the day without being influenced by someone. Whether it be: your teacher, boss, political leader, bum on the street, or most likely, the media.

I unfortunately believe that the average American in 2006 no longer had their own opinions. Instead they carry the opinions of the experts on TV, their favorite movie star, of someone who has no relevance except they are louder or more well known than everyone else. It’s a pitty. Maybe if we were able to come up with our own thoughts and ideas our country could be a much better place to live. We could be out of Iraq, have a lower unemployment rate, or even have a higher world status and better foreign relations.

Think about when you are driving or god forbid, walking down the street. Can you honestly say that you don’t see at least 20 different advertisements in the course of a mile? They may not all be so obvious and stand out, but look closely, they’re there, quietly drilling their ideas into your vulnerable brain. Let’s do the math. We’ll be conservative and say that the average American only travels about 30 miles a day between their car and walking, and if we continue with our number of 20 advertisements per mile. That comes out to 500 ads in the course of a day, and that’s only advertisements! One type of influence, there are many more.

Probably the largest source of influence in our culture today is the television. I’m not saying that it isn’t a great source of entertainment, but no one can help but be swayed by the opinions of our favorite news stations. It could be: CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, or many more, but no matter which one, you can be sure that it is slowly taking away your ability to choose how you feel about current issues. Please do not take this out of context. The news can be a wonderful fountain of information for you to soak up but with communication comes influence and with influence comes the lack of personal opinions.

Today we communicate much more than ever and therefore there is a new larger string of personal thoughts and opinions streaming around the world that are not our own, even if we think they are.

I encourage everyone who hears this to, as you go about your daily life keep what I have said in the back of your mind. Remember that the thoughts you hearing are not your own, but someone else’s. It is okay to base your own opinions off of others but please, make sure they’re your own.