One of the things I was told when I was a child was that if someone picks on you, they are afraid of you or jealous. Years later, it was to make them look bigger or more important, they themselves are struggling or even they want to be part of the “in crowd” by picking on someone they may are ones not picked on. I had to take this all-in stride and move forward. I was told when you get older these kids would grow out of this behavior.
Fast forward and I am working at a bank in the 90s and what I saw was most of the same thing. In fact, I found myself almost surrounded by it. It was much different than childhood, instead it was done without the person around. People would put others down or complain about them. I did not recognize it back then, but now I see it. It was behavior that was no better than high school behavior.
What is worse though the behaviors are commonplace and played out either in news media or social media. Instead of understanding what is going on, people are very quick to immediately find some way to put anyone or even any group down in hopes of making them appear ‘right.’ This is like the bully putting someone down to make himself feel more important or be part of the crowd. Most people do not recognize it that way, but if it is the ‘group’ we belong to we believe it, if it pointed toward us, we often respond with anger.
Originally this was limited to a few elite media being one sided. The use of the excuse that the show was entertainment not news was the excuse. But with the growth of social media, it started to carry to individuals. One thing I noticed is that the first mover advantage combined with confirmation bias turns the initial statement into widespread belief. I have yet to see anyone not only apologize and retract this first reaction, but for the truth to be agreed upon. No one is immune to this, even me. I can guarantee there are multiple instances where if you look back on something you heard was true, wanted to be true and still believe it but it is false.
First, I do not have a solution for this, but this week I was thinking about this in something that should not have a side. The weight loss drug semagultide has seem to be a miracle drug. For those on it there have been minimal side effects but helping them lose weight. First no I am not taking it, nor do I have an investment in it. What I saw this week was an article about the potential impact on food purchases and the companies who sell food. One snack company went as far as to say that they were not going to stand still and go after it. The CEO says he will do whatever it takes so people continue to eat the unhealthy snacks they sell. I take this as he is going to create an information campaign to drive opinions of people that these weight loss drugs are not good for you.
If a snack company is willing to do this then what is to say anything we hear from any company, any news agency etc. is not rooted in the same desire to change people’s minds. I did state I do not have a solution but now I need to read everything with the notion of who wrote it, and what is the goal behind writing it. I wrote recently that I need not judge myself on my initial thought, but my second thought is I now need to apply this to information that comes out. I should not believe the first report ‘reason’ (the base fact is ok but the reason not) and wait a few days to see if the reason or why something happened. I also need to look at who is repeating the initial information to see if they are smart enough to dig and get answers. My initial reaction can be what it is, but I need to start to think and make sure my second thought is based on quality information not a bully trying to make themselves feel more important.
This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free. I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them.
This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog. AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information.Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them.