The Society of Mediocrity And Your Role As a Blogger

You probably wouldn’t expect a title like that for a blog post on this site. But, for a moment, I’m going to step atop my soapbox and share opinion on our society. And what’s more, I want to share what I think we, as bloggers, have as a responsibility that goes way beyond traffic and money.

Dangers of Traditional News Media

One of the biggest pieces of advice I say a lot is to not watch the news. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see I sometimes rave against the news media. I believe they are in the business of propagating fear. The more freaked out you are, the better it is for them because you stay glued to the TV screen. They get to sell ads.

It baffles me why people willingly allow that into their minds. If we knew a person in our lives that you knew was always trying to scare you or create conflicts, you would most certainly cut ties with that person. If you got around a particular person and you always left feeling bad, you wouldn’t want to be around them. Yet, with the news media, people are used to sitting there in a borderline hypnotic state letting bad stuff enter their minds.

Bad stuff goes in and it leads to bad stuff coming out. The fact that it goes into a semi-hypnotized mind is probably even more dangerous because the person isn’t thinking about and analyzing what goes in. I believe the modern news media is an absolute cancer on our society.

A Worsening Condition

But, let’s go even deeper. What about the people around us? Have you ever spent time on your blog, on Twitter, or trying to develop an online business only to have a friend or a family member make fun of you for doing it? They’ll say you’re chasing a dream. They’ll tell you to go get a “real job”. This doesn’t necessarily make them bad people. They are victims of societal conditioning.

Our society is trained to follow the mold. When you try to break that mold, the others around you will seek to bash you back into compliance. It is group mentality.

And that mold is getting worse. Our standards are worsening, and the number of excuses for mediocrity grow by the day. Kids who aren’t earning the good grades are diagnosed with ADHD. So, a child who is simply bored is now diagnosed with a completely bullshit “disease” and then placed on a drug. They’re told “It’s not your fault, little Jimmy. You have a problem with your brain.” The parents are told its not their fault. It is a disorder. All is well. Place the child on a mind-altering drug (all while billing insurance heavily) and sit there and be happy in a drug-induced mediocre world.

When people get fat because they eat like hell, they’re told they have a disorder and they go off acting like little victims. When people fail to stop smoking, they proceed to blame the cigarette companies. When some clumsy idiot spills hot coffee on themselves, they blame McDonald’s. When somebody overcharges their credit cards and gets into massive debt, they blame the credit companies for “predatory lending”.

I can’t watch TV for even an hour at night without having to watch some person sit there and advertise 1-800-ASK-GARY. A lawyer referral service. Their lawyers don’t get paid unless they get money for you! Get the money you deserve! “Ask and you shall receive!” It is sickening.

We live in a society of mediocrity. And you know what? I’m CONVINCED it is being done on purpose. There are too many vested interests in having a dumb-downed, drugged, scared population.

We’re Not Normal

As we individually try to succeed, to build a business and achieve our goals, we have to deal with this stuff constantly. Face it – we’re not normal! If you are driven by an ambition to succeed, you are not normal. Most of the world isn’t like that.

Most people work in the prison which is the 9-5 job. Most likely they hate their job. They get home and they watch TV for the remainder of the day, drinking beers and eating too much. Then they wonder why they don’t have enough money. And they react to people who have more than them with disdain.

People who try to stop excellence, whether on purpose or reactively, are not destined to succeed. They will not succeed. They will wallow in a world of mediocrity and then they will die. I’m not going to pull any punches and try to make it rosy when it isn’t. All they do is get in the way of the people who actually get up and make shit happen.

Our Role As Bloggers

If you are reading this blog, then chances are you are a blogger yourself. You have readers. You might not have many, but you have a level of influence to some degree.

I want to raise the bar. Bloggers are in a position to be opinion leaders. Obviously, not all bloggers are thought leaders, but bloggers who build up an audience are in a position of having influence.

I consider it our JOB not to propagate mediocrity and fear. Be a force for good in this world. Do what’s right. Encourage excellence. If you have an audience, do what’s right for them. It doesn’t matter if you blog about business or blog about underwater basket weaving. If you have people paying attention to you, then you should play your part in raising the bar, encouraging excellence and suppressing fear-mongering.

But, aside from our influence, practice what we preach. Don’t allow negativity from others to penetrate your mind. You should surround yourself with success-minded people if you want to yourself succeed. Don’t go into agreement with just being normal. “Normal” is getting worse. Today’s “normal” isn’t what it once was.

We all have a sphere of influence. We should all act as forces for good within our own spheres. That includes in our personal lives as well as the lives of those we influence. Take responsibility for your role in the world.

As I step off my soapbox, just stop and think. Blogging is about a lot more than sharing knowledge. It is certainly about more than making money. Blogging is a form of communication and one in which “Joe blow” can potentially have influence with thousands of people from the confines of a back bedroom.

Use it wisely. Use it to make the world a little better.

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Responses

  1. David, I am with you about the influence of media. And the tragedy of the whole situation is that the more access to information people have, the dumber they get. I AM NOT NORMAL. I am focused and driven with a goal of not being like everyone else. I’m using my blog to influence and bless others. Thanks for this post.

  2. David, this was a SUPERIOR blog post man.

    It really feels as it was written just today, I’m really shocked it was written at least two years ago because it feels so LIVE right now.

    I stopped watching TV about 1.5 years ago and I also stopped reading the local news (this is a very dangerous city so it just builds up fear in me) and man, I feel liberated.

    I also have many friends who look at me like I don’t want to work. They don’t know I literally wake up and start my computers and turn them off when I finally go to bed.

    Not saying that is how it should be, but the mere fact that I’m making some money online, is so unbelievable to them, that they rather just laugh and say “good luck man” and go back to their 9 to 5 even knowing that they are living a really unfulfilling life and still do nothing to get it fixed.

    I stopped trying to convince people around me about the power of Internet Marketing because you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

    It was an energy sucker so I had to stop doing that.

    Now whenever I’m asked what do I do for a living (even when they KNOW I’m doing work online) I answer very vague and give no more details unless I see them very interested, then I give just a bit more details but I don’t get excited or anything.

    That always triggers a negative/disbelief reaction so I’m just cautious about that.

    I loved your message of our responsability to do what’s right and encourage excellence.

    Sergio

    PS. You don’t get to see much posts like this on the internet, congratulations David and thank you for the motivational rush today.

  3. Right on point. I can't tell you how many times I have to drag people out of the garbage to help them out, and the news media isn't helping one bit. Glad we finally have something to combat them with, this is fundamentally different than they think. Our own little world if you will. 😉

  4. Right on point. I can't tell you how many times I have to drag people out of the garbage to help them out, and the news media isn't helping one bit. Glad we finally have something to combat them with, this is fundamentally different than they think. Our own little world if you will. 😉

  5. Right on point. I can't tell you how many times I have to drag people out of the garbage to help them out, and the news media isn't helping one bit. Glad we finally have something to combat them with, this is fundamentally different than they think. Our own little world if you will. 😉

  6. Oh, man, this is some raw sh***t. This is more like a psychological article than a regular blog post.

    I loved this so much. Anyway, I have a feeling you are a very influential person by nature, correct me if I am wrong. You definitely deserve to have influence over me 😀

  7. I’m giving you a standing ovation while I type. I found absolutely nothing to disagree with in any part of your post. Stumbling, Tweeting, and Friendfeeding it.

  8. Wow, spot on, every bit of it. I wholeheartedly agree with what you say, David. We always blame everyone else but ourselves. Opening ourselves up to ripe exploitation by the authority and big corporations.

    I couldnt put the words better myself, David. About time we grasp the bull by the horn and faced the reality of the world and do something positive for ourselves for a change which in turn will benefit the society as a whole. Stopping this “evil” in it’s tracks, so we will no longer be a victim and consequently be trodden upon.

    Keep it up.

  9. “I consider it our JOB not to propagate mediocrity and fear. Be a force for good in this world. Do what’s right. Encourage excellence.”

    Amen is right. Great work David. You continue to impress. Keep up the good work. You deserve to be a 7 figure blogger. =)

  10. Well said David. There isn’t much more I can say, except that I’ve followed your blog for some time now and completely respect your thoughts and opinions. This post in right in line with my own feelings. Thanks for the encouragement on blogging!

  11. This is the most important piece of text I’ve read in a very, very long time. I’ve been thinking about these things for some time now, and this sums my thoughts up perfectly.

    I would like to add you on facebook.

    Take care
    Leif Stenlund

  12. Yes, David, unfortunately society fails to teach critical thinking. A few Philosophy courses early on in a child’s academic life would help.

  13. David,

    this is exactly what I have felt blogging is suppose to be about. We bloggers have no editors other than ourselves, so we are suppose to speak our minds and have an opinion about what we believe.

    You’ve hit this dead on. Society as a whole has fallen into this trap of actually believing that everything is always someone else’s fault. It’s like those creeps on the corners of every major city on the planet,they rail against the successful and claim that to be the reason for their failures.

    The truth is this. Everyone really gets what they want out of life, it’s just that most don’t want a damn thing but an opportunity to whine and blame someone else.

    The news in general really does set the tone for the day, making it easy for excuse seekers to cop-out.

    As for me, I do watch the news because I like to keep a tight eye on every fastball that’s thrown, although most come from the same gloved hand.

    Thanks for the courage of this post, and why not? You are a professional blogger and it’s YOUR blog.

    I admire you sand, keep up the good work.

  14. Lots of agreeing with David, so I will throw in a disagree.

    David you state that “There are too many vested interests in having a dumb-downed, drugged, scared population”, that “it is being done on purpose” and it is “a worsening condition.”

    I agree that it is to the advantage of the ruling class to have a dumb-downed, drugged, scared population. I agree that it is being done on purpose. But I disagree that it is a worsening condition.

    I assume by society you mean the current democratic and free market society. Compared to most societies in the past and other societies in the present we are one of the least dumb-downed, drugged, scared population. Communist, fascist, Church run, King/Emperor societies were and still are in a much worse condition. Current democratic and free market society is a great improvement. The condition is not worsening, it is improving. Even if you limit the scope to our society I see it only as improving. When was is better? When were the glory days to which we need to return to?

    Also, you state that “it is being done on purpose”. I agree with that. But the purpose is good. Unlike in other societies the purpose was/is to control people and to limit them. In today’s society the purpose is to provide people what they want. They want to watch exciting and fear inducing news. That is why broadcasting companies provide exciting news. It is being done on purpose not to control but because it is what the people want. Fear mongering news stations would disappear quickly if nobody watched them. It is just giving people what they want. I think that is a best possible purpose that can be.

    Finally, regarding the lawyer commercials and suing smoking companies and McDonalds I see that simply as business. And a very creative business. It shows how creative and entrepreneurial our society is. Our society rewards people that think outside the mold. It rewards people that find opportunity in the strangest places, places that in other societies people do not or cannot go. Other societies force you to shut up and dig up potatoes your whole life. Our society gives you the opportunity to try to sue a company for making you fat. Whether you win/lose does not matter. The important point is that you are allowed to try and that in our society people do try.

  15. I read this post on my iPhone, and could hardly wait to get back to my laptop to properly comment. (I love my iPhone, but no miniature keyboard is appropriate for longer than 140-character responses!)

    I really appreciate you putting this post out there. I’ve been reading you for a while and enjoying interacting with you on facebook and twitter, but – I have to say – this is, I think, the first time I’ve seen you really come out with so much passion on a topic that extends beyond the world of blogging into the very core of a life philosophy. I like it!

    I respect you for holding these views (which I share), and for being courageous enough to stick your neck out and proclaim your beliefs so directly – with no apologies or gray matter. Good for you … and even better for your readers. I can tell from the comments that I’m not the only reader who benefitted from reading your insights and your call to action.

    I’m working on some blog-based projects that fall into neighboring territory topic-wise. I’m so excited to being my own ideas out into the light and look forward to sharing them with others in the way you have shared your heartfelt feelings with us in this post.

    Thanks for the pep talk, kick in the ass, and for writing your truth.

  16. I agree completely. I think the media also dumb’s things down for people too. They want to sell ad space so they have little teasers leading up to the 11:00 news, “Ten Ways to Save Hundreds of Dollars a Year” or things like the Jim Kramer show which make everyone think that they can understand the stock market and double their money and blah blah blah.

    I think a part of this financial crisis that our country is going through was perpetuated by CNN and Jim Kramer and that whole group (I know, Jon Stewart said this better than I did).

    If we dumb things down for people, without explaining the truth, then people have no incentive to become educated and really learn things.

    People also try to do things and fail, like stock market investing for example on a grand scale, but even something as simple as saving money on groceries, which the Today Show and/or other mainstream media run specials on once every few months. They lure you in by promising you can invest in some silly company, or grab a newspaper and save a few hundred dollars on your grocery bill.

    The reality is, so much more work goes into investing in the stock market and/or so much more work goes in to actually saving hundreds by couponing (I tackled this particular issue here: http://www.artofthecoupon.com/truth-saving-money-coupons/ because it is one that is near and dear to my heart, I know it is a small one, but if the media even trivializes small things, how are people supposed to work up to educating themselves about the big ones)

    As bloggers though, aren’t we susceptible to some of the same traps? Don’t a lot of us too, want to sell advertising space and or/draw traffic by using sensationalist key words, etc.?

  17. Well-stated and passionately delivered. You seem to be loosening up these days.

    It’s hard being a blogger, but they just wait and see….our day will come.

    Will you be Izeafest this year?

  18. David; you have yet again hit the nail squarely on the head. It’s good to see that there are still individuals, such as yourself, who have their head well above the river of crap in which most of today’s society is wallowing or drowning.

    This blog is proof that true humanity is still clinging to life amidst the torrents of BS that pervade modern culture.

  19. Excellent post, Dave. Something I surely needed to read as I embark on a complete 180 degree life change in the coming weeks.

    It’s funny, I’m seeing quite a difference in Italian news coverage. Less fear, more deliverance of just plain ole facts. If there’s one class I think should be in every middle/high school curriculum, it’s a course on media literacy.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. That is a world class post, David. I hate comments which just say “Great post!” But I don’t want to add anything to what you’ve said. It is a Great post!

  21. Great post, David.

    I’ve long felt that most problems with our society have to do with misplaced priorities. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll restrain myself.

    I agree with you on every point in this post.

    Thanks for having the cajones to say it.

  22. David, this post is absolutely amazing. Just what I needed to hear. The part that was best about this for me was where you talk about how when you try to do something extraordinary with your life people feel the need to bring you back to the “real world” that they understand. It’s completely bogus but I experience it on an almost daily basis.

    Thank you for speaking up about this.

  23. I don’t blog, but I’m a total fan of David Risley and I agree wholeheartedly with what he said in the article. I pursue music and I’m trying to ‘retrofit’ the blogging marketing ideas to marketing my music .. I just may end up having an attached ‘blog’ but I’m still up in the air about that. Thing is, I enjoy David’s writing and am very proud to have him as a friend on facebook and twitter. I totally agree with him to strive to be a beacon of good and excellence in a world that pushes mediocrity down our throats.

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