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Are You Being Herded?

March 20, 2019

The “masses” are always being talked about. We are constantly being exposed to the force of mass media through television, radio, movies, advertisements, internet, magazines and so forth. The effect of this can disrupt our reality. One of the "masses"

 commonly talked about is the middle class. The middle class is the center of the bell curve. This is where the largest number of data points are in any population. Everything has a bell curve. The odds are if you are reading this you are in or near the middle of the bell curve to a degree. This is a disorienting thought because we are all taught that we are special and are unique, Are you? Acknowledging that you think and act in very similar to most other people is a hard pill to swallow. It’s a funny thing; to recognize this fact puts you near the tails of the bell curve since this is an unorthodox view of ourselves.

 

There is a saying, “You are the 5 people you hang out with the most”. That means your wife, kids (which reflect you mostly), friends, coworkers, and another category that I want to introduce. Have you ever considered the influence television has on you? For the most part people spend a lot of their time at home watching TV. Now, I am not about to go on and hate on all the TV you watch. I like TV also and I am not here to preach. I just noticed something in my life and wanted to share it with you. I watch the Bachelor with my wife. What can I say, it gives us things to talk about.  While I am watching the show I notice I start to judge all of the characters. “Wow she is so caddy. I think she is in it for the wrong reasons”… I feel this is a part of my personality that I have worked on for many years. I have left the judgmental side of myself and replaced it with empathy and love. I know cliché right. So why in this moment am I reverting and filling my head with drama?

 

We are who we surround ourselves with. Most people spend more time with the tv than any single person. For the average American this is five hours a day. Five hours of having a one-sided conversation. For kids it is worse. Violent video games and unlimited YouTube are just a few examples. Luckily when kids are young, parents generally make sure they are watching educational material. This doesn’t apply to us though. We are not kids anymore. We have better judgment and are not as easily influenced. Well look at me judging, I realized the people on TV have a huge influence on me. Then I started looking at my friends and asking what types of TV shows they watch. If people watch drama, this make everything more dramatic in their life. I have never met a chill, down to earth person who watches mostly drama shows. Drama raises emotions and swings them around violently making your emotional stability compromised. With Action television, the hero is fighting all odds and always get the bad guy. Strict morals and fighting the odds while never giving up. There there is Romance. The never ending cycles of love. You never see one of these shows where two people spend every day together and is boring because each day drives their love to new heights. That would be boring. Let's make them lose the loved one and desperately try to get them back. These people tend to be always losing their loved ones and hang up on past ones. THE NEWS is a whole other animal. The news is barraging you with bad things. Pumping you with fear and pontificating “what ifs”. Desperately trying to tell the future and having so called experts. But you have to be in the know. There is always a reason for watching what you do. I feel the news is one of the worst shows on television. After deciding not to watch the news for five years, I feel the anxiety being pumped in the air if I hear it come on in a room near me. The negativity fills every crack of positivity and gratitude for the world we live in is depicted as shit. The news watchers are up-tight and driven mad with fear, freaked out about the outcome of the this or that and how its going to make the world crumble.

 

All of the examples that I gave are extremes. I will assume that most people try to balance out what they watch. Until they Binge on Netflix that is. If we spread out like diversifying a portfolio, it helps the swings of our personality. Something that I now keep in mind is, am I investing in the right TV shows/ Movies? If I want to be more dramatic and have a more dramatic life then maybe I want to add more drama shows. If I want to become wealthier, I may want to watch documentaries of rich people or Shark Tank. If I want to retain tons of factoids, then the sci-fi channel. More ingenuity watch engineering challenge shows like Junkyard Wars. If Hollywood and the music industry are pumping out strong female roles and depicting an oppressive society. I would assume we will get a feminist movement. This is how the masses are moved. A multi directional attack that is unavoidable. All of this will change our perspective and how our minds are wired. More and more research comes out every day about how our brains start to mimic those around us. The people and tv shows will change how you invest as well. If you are a news person then beware of making rash decisions and jumping to conclusions in extreme ways when nothing really is as bad as it sounds. These investors always sell at the bottom and leverage at the top. We are all being influenced in some way. Are you part of the herd or do you subscribe to being on the frontier. Being on the frontier means to reject common thought and come to conclusions for yourself. Questioning should it really be that way? Traditional portfolios are a mix of stocks and bonds. Is that the right way? I there a better way? Maybe there should be Options for investors.

 

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