Website owner: James Miller
People follow other people, they copy
One of the most interesting things about people is the degree to which most people are influenced by other people, the degree to which they tend to copy other people, follow other people. We see this in many different things. Let us just list some.
1. Clothing fads and fashions. A great many people are very fashion conscious in regard to clothing. They are observing of what other people are wearing. They know what the latest fashion is and they have to have it. Fads in fashion. I think of the stupid looking baggy pants that some young men of certain minority groups wear. They wear them so low their underwear shows and the pants are nearly falling off! Why?! How do you explain a fad like this?! What is the attraction for this? Is it because it is obscene? I have no idea how such a foolish fad started. And I certainly can’t fathom a mind that would be attracted by such a fad.
2. Fads and fashions in men’s haircuts. I think of the early 1970's when so many men started wearing long feminine looking hairstyles and started going to hair salons instead of barber shops for their haircuts. These days there are a lot of young boys and men sporting new styles of haircuts that I think look really stupid. How do fads like this get started? I suppose one person tries to be different by getting some stupid looking haircut and then others see it and like it and want the same thing. People follow, copy. A stupid fad is created. It becomes an “in” thing. One person does some stupid thing and then a whole lot of people follow.
3. Fads and fashions in home decorating. In home decorating one fashion goes out and another comes in. People spend a lot of money to update their kitchen. They replace their counter tops with granite tops because that is the “in” thing. They replace their kitchen appliances with stainless steel because they want to be up to date. (Usually I like the old fashions better than the new fashions so I am always out of date, out of fashion).
What causes people to be so fad and fashion conscious in regard to clothing, haircuts, etc.? What lies behind this? I suppose it is because many people are very appearance oriented. They are very concerned about the physical impression they make. It is vanity. They spend a lot time and effort thinking about how to present themselves in terms of physical appearance. But not all people are this way. You have the dandies, the fops. Then you have people like myself who never give any real thought to their physical appearance. I have never given thought to my appearance. I just want to look decent. I have always had more important things than that to concern myself with.
4. Having the latest toy. One person buys the latest toy. Then people around him see it and they have to have one too. They copy. One person buys a motor boat. Then his neighbor decides he wants one also. One person pays $700 for a cell phone. Then the people around him see it and they have to have one also (I am 76 and still don’t possess a cell phone. I don’t need one and am not willing to pay the monthly cost of having one. But all of the six or eight teenagers in the welfare family living in the house next to me have one.)
5. Tattoos. Suddenly everyone everywhere seems to be sporting tattoos. What is going on? It is a fad. Suddenly it seems to be the “in” thing. Everyone is doing it so everyone copies. (I wouldn’t allow myself to be tattooed under any circumstance. A person with a tattoo makes a very poor impression on me and I don’t care what his explanation. It is just another sign of the great moral decadence of the society.)
6. Fads and fashions in ideas. Most people are not thinkers. They are copiers, followers. Their ideas are not their own. They are the ideas of others. Their most basic assumptions, their beliefs, their attitudes and outlooks didn’t come from their own mind and thought. They came from the minds and outlooks of others. People pick up assumptions, beliefs, attitudes and outlooks from many sources:
1) what they are taught in school, church, etc.
2) reading (books, newspapers, etc.),
3) motion pictures, television soap operas, etc.
7. Drinking, smoking, swearing, obscene language, drug use, sexual promiscuity, telling dirty stories, etc. People do what they see others do. They follow the crowd. They don’t want to be different. They want to fit in, be one of the gang.
Perhaps we can understand about how people’s minds work by studying the techniques used by Madison Avenue in advertising. Madison Avenue is able to sell about any kind of behavior, influence people towards about any kind of behavior, whether it be it drinking, smoking, or whatever, just with the right kind of imagery. Madison Avenue is able to manipulate the mind in about any way they wish. Study the selling techniques of Madison Avenue. Madison Avenue paints images. People are influenced by images. By clever use of imagery Madison Avenue is able to glamorize and sell almost any kind of activity. Most people are easily influenced, easily led, and easily deceived.
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