Say you are at home watching TV, your stomach begins to growl, and all of a sudden, you see a McDonald’s commercial advertising their “Big Mac”; now all you want is the “Big Mac”. Why is it that you suddenly want this specific burger? As a society, we do not critically think about what it is we watch or see. This ignorance reflects on our decisions, and ultimately allows for corporations to control and manipulate all that we do. It also causes for most people to make quick and impulsive decisions. Having a lack of critical thinking affects society in a variety of ways.
Without this way of thinking, we allow for powerful industries to control and manipulate us, as well as create many impulsive decisions. Not critically thinking allows for “powerful” corporations to easily control us. The first indication of this is within the short story “Harrison Berguron”, by Kurt Vonnegut: in it was an example of a society that tried to eliminate critical thinkers in an attempt to create a utopia of equality. This would allow the government to control every aspect of living for these people.
Within this society, the intelligent were forced to wear a handicap that limited their thoughts. This was explained in the following quote: “and George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had to wear little metal handicap in his ear. He was required to wear it by law. ” (Harrison Burgeron, pg. 1) The significance of the following quote shows you that no one in the utopia had the power to think for themselves. And those who did, cannot; thus having a complete society of no one being able to think that these handicaps would ruin the way everyone thinks as a whole.
This would mean that as a society, we can easily be controlled without using our blessing of thinking. As showed in the following quote- “they were burdened with bird shot and slash weights, and were forced to wear masks. ”(Harrison Burgeron, pg. 1)- The people of this society would be forced to wear unnecessary burdens as a means to enforce this sense of “equality” the government perceived. Because no one had the ability to think, no one really asked the question “why exactly do have to wear these burdens? Everyone basically listened to what this government said, and did what it wanted for all of them to do- all because no one had the ability to think for what they really wanted and believed in. Today we see something almost similar.
Though we are not required to limit our thoughts, or submit ourselves to anyone, we might as well do so. We may not realize it, but everything on T. V. pretty much dictates all of our choices-“Despite the growing importance of the internet, television remains the main place where you will find advertisements targeting kids. (Chew on this Pg. 56 ) Because we believe and trust everything we see on television, we begin to make judgment and choices based on commercials, advertisements, etc. We willingly allow for these corporations to manipulate and decide what it is that we are going to buy, weather it is a new pair of shoes, or something as simple as fast food- all because we as a society seem to deteriorate in our abilities to really stop, and think about what it was we just saw, and how his may affect us.
Not critically thinking could cause someone to make ill, impulse decisions. In the same way the short story “A & P”, by John Updike, The story used fantastic examples using the protagonist as a way to convey how ordinary people make poor, impulsive decisions. As used in the following quotes “I said I quit” ”Sammy, you do not to do this to your mom and dad” (A&P pg. 3). Sammy, the protagonist, did not like the fact that his boss asked these girls that he would constantly see, to leave.
He said that he was through working for his boss as a way to impress these girls. His boss, knowing that Sammy was not thinking, asked if he was sure about going through with what he was about to do. Sammy acted based on what he felt, and not about what he thought. This was the result of using an impulsive decision. This was backed with the following quote “And I do not know if that was true, but remembering how he made the pretty girl blush made me feel so scrunchey’ inside. ” (A&P pg. ) Because the author used the specific adjective “pretty”, we can ultimately assume that Sammy only quit for the reason that the girl was very attractive and that he wanted to impress her in some way. Had he had another reason, he would not have called this girl “pretty”, for if he respected her to the point of quitting and sticking up for her, he would have respected her as a woman and not look at her in any lust or desire.
Though he [Sammy] quit in honor of these girls, as mention in the following quote-, “I looked for my girls, but they were gone, of course” (A&P pg. ) – Sammy did not think about how these girls felt, or if they felt the same way for him. Because he blindly assumed that his scene would make him look like a hero, Sammy not only lost his job, but he also lost the girls as well. Had he held his desires, and not acted upon them, these turn of events could have easily been countered. By not thinking critically about what we really buy and see, we allow for “powerful” corporations to manipulate us without even realizing it. Even so, we allow for the ease of our manipulation by falling for the use of a certain tactic known as synergy.
In it, companies could advertise any and every thing that may be related in some way to their product. “(Chew on this Pg. 42) Once it worked, most people did not even notice that they were watching an advertisement. ” This can allow for a company to advertise basically anything without our knowledge of its presence. Because we do not notice that these tactics, many of us [our youth] become susceptible to the of will of these corporations, such as falling into their second tactic, nagging. “Advertisers want children to bug their parents, and continue to bug them really well” (Chew on this Pg. 2). If these corporations can influence a child too simply “nag” a parent into submission, who knows what they will do to future generations. These innocent minds do not stand a chance in terms of resistance to the influence of these corporations and the products that they are advertising. “They cannot understand the real purpose of ads and trust everything an ad says is true. ” (Chew on this Pg. 56) Due to the fact that our youth cannot critically think, they do not know how to tell truth from false, for they are not at that level of development.
Therefore as a society, we suffer greatly since, our youth is our future: an easily deceived youth would mean that our future is easily deceived: thus, we would have a future of people that would not use the beautiful skill of critically thinking, bringing the story of “Harrison Burgeron”, by Kurt Vonnegut, to life. When we willingly let ourselves be controlled, manipulated, and make impulsive decisions, we diminish in using our abilities to make knowledgeable decisions and have the freedom to think for ourselves.
We are susceptible to being controlled and manipulated, as well as making impulsive decisions when we do not critically think. People who find themselves in situations just like the commercial with McDonalds advertising their “Big Mac”, should consider buying food that they personally know they will satisfy both their hunger and taste buds. As a society, we need to prepare our minds for thinking critically. We need to consider both the pros and cons of a decision, as well as realize we have this ability to critically think, and that we can strengthen it by using it.